Teachers on a daily basis are bombarded with a constant flow of ‘things’ they feel should be doing in the classroom through workshops, professional readings, staff meetings, administration, and fellow teachers.
When they learn or hear about a new theory, strategy, or concept they are not using or teaching in ‘their’ classroom, a panic alarm goes off inside. This alarm goes off inside all teachers, new and experienced.
Why is this?
This happens because teachers want to provide their students with the best education they can while they have them in their classrooms. They want to become the best they can be.
Teachers are always second guessing themselves, doubting their skills and gradually begin to feel incompetent.
With unprecedented student performance pressures being put on teachers today, it is no wonder they begin to doubt themselves.
This is wrong! Something is very, very wrong when even the most talented and experienced teachers begin to question their teaching skills.
This is why it’s imperative that teachers today start to filter through all the noise around them, and sort through it to determine what is most important to themselves and the betterment of their students.
Silent that ‘panic alarm’ inside your brain and stay true to yourself.
Professional growth takes time.
When you feel compelled to implement too many of the ‘things’ out there, chaos will slowly begin to reign in your classroom.
You will find your patience begin to slip. Your classroom management strategies will begin to fail and you will observe more behavior problems. You will begin to feel more and more less confident in yourself and your students will sense this.
These are the alarm signals that you should be listening to, not all the other ‘noise’ around you.
Child experts all agree that children thrive in routine. When that routine is disturbed for prolonged periods, children will have more difficulty regulating their behaviors and emotions.
If you want to make changes to your program, or add something new, do it slowly and thoroughly. Be sure to include the teaching of a new routine if that is part of the change. I have a post on How to teach a new routine.
Questions to ask yourself before you should implement something new in your classroom are:
- Is it really worth your time and effort to implement?
- Will your students benefit academically?
- Does it help implement the curriculum?
- Is it an important aspect of the curriculum?
- Does it fit with your teaching style and philosophies?
Stay strong and stay the course!
American poet, essayist and lecturer, 1803-1882
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