Your students are tremendously fortunate to have YOU as their teacher. Don’t let anyone–including yourself–tell you otherwise!
No one else cares about your students like you do.
This makes you uniquely able to exercise the patience that teaching often requires and to advocate for your students–with the administration, with other teachers, in the community, with their parents, . . . . I know you care about your students and your craft, or else you wouldn’t be reading this blog!
No one else knows your students’ interests, proficiencies, distractors, and relationships to each other like you do.
This makes you uniquely able to connect with students, tailor interactions and resources to their precise needs, be aware of potential triggers of discomfort or interpersonal problems, and help students recognize or create links between what they experience in your class and what they experience in other classes or in life in general.
No one else has your combination of personality, skills, experiences, and interests.
This makes you uniquely able to craft conversations, tasks, lessons, and units that will actually work for YOU and, thus, for your students. If you’ve never done so before, consider making list of your skills, experiences, and interests, and spending some time thinking about how you can capitalize on these to maximize your and your students’ joy and success!
YOU are the best thing for your students!
(see also: You Can’t Out-Candice Candice)
This installment in the series of reflections on iFLT 2018 and Express Fluency 2018 is inspired by the countless marvelous persons I met there, all of them caring, curious, devoted, tenacious, gold-hearted, eager to grow, eager to share, ready to thrive. To see other posts in the series, start here. The series-within-a-series on Your Teaching Body returns next week!
[Added September 22, 2019] Video 5 in the Tuned-In Teacher Mantra series is based on this post:
If you find this kind of thing—or anything else I do—helpful and want there to be more of it, consider supporting my work at my Ko-fi page, where I offer lots of exclusive content. Every little bit helps, especially during this season when several months of my regular work have been canceled.
Thanks Justin! Needed this.
I’m glad the post found its way to you, Afton!
Such a nice message. Thanks!
Sure thing =)
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I think we all, as teachers, know this. Well-stated! Now let’s convince our legislators and administrators that this is true. Constantly giving teachers more work, increasing class sizes, relying on test scores as part of a teacher’s evaluation and using unreasonable rubrics for evaluation purposes is so demeaning to a teacher’s self-esteem and their feelings of professional worth.
You are so right, Emily!