I write every Tuesday and share on the Two Writing Teachers blog. Join other teachers that share their writing and thoughts.
Think about a time you were teaching and you CRUSHED it! It was one of those lessons that went so perfect you wish you would have taped it or that your principal was in the back of the room frantically writing the notes of how brilliant your classroom is.
What were you doing? What had you done before the lesson began? What are your students doing? What were you saying to yourself?
What were you wearing? Where were you standing? Did you have a Powerpoint? What materials were out?
Get yourself back into that moment. See it in your mind’s eye and feel what it felt to be in that moment.
I have several moments that I like to come back to from my 25 years as an educator. One is from early in my teaching career when I was teaching first grade. We had gathered on the floor in a circle to share our writing journals. I had established a clear rhythm of family meeting that ended with a read aloud and then we wrote a group chart and then students wrote independently. I sat in the circle with everyone and had given the directions that someone would read and then we would ask questions about what was not clear and then also tell the writer what we loved about the writing.
I started the activity and guided the first couple of writers and the comments. Then my kids took over. They asked each other questions and took turns like expert writer workshop participants. I was awed. I slowly backed out of the circle because they didn’t need me. I watched as my students gave helpful feedback and suggestions. The writers knew the piece was still theirs and if they didn’t like the feedback they didn’t have to use it. I was so proud of my little students. My heart was so full that day.
I can literally tap into this experience because I have associated it within my physiology by my right hand tapping on my upper chest, right under my neck. I can get back to this moment by triggering the memory with the hand motion. I know young students are capable of doing great things because I have seen it. Even if I haven’t seen it with my own eyes I know I can find studies and stories from other teachers who have with their students. I can piggy back off their experience to fuel my own.
Over the next few weeks, I am creating a teacher identity that exemplifies what I want to accomplish this school year no matter what it looks like.
Here are some of the questions I am asking myself:
What adjectives would you use to describe yourself as a level 10 teacher?
What outcomes do you want to consistently create over the school year?
What actions do you need to take to ensure those outcomes are reached?
What mantras do you need to remember to bring you back to your goals? I wrote about this one here.
What three things if I do every day at school will guarantee I have a successful day?
What gives me energy during the school day and what depletes it?
What beliefs do I have about school, my students, and my teaching? Are they limiting or empowering?