“The heart of teaching is the teaching of the heart. In order to teach, we need courage to overcome our fears. Consider and reflect on the following statements of courage.
I have the courage to…
- ask brave and genius questions
- learn new, complex things and relish in the journey of the unknown and yet to be discovered
- yield trust and control to students by listening, honoring, and recognizing their unique contributions.
- engage in discussions that challenge our deepest convictions and ignite our hidden passions
- play with purpose and passion
- know YOU MATTER!”
I remember when I first started my student teaching. It suddenly hit me. What was I doing? Did I honestly think that I had anything in me to teach others? Was this a vision of grandeur? Maybe a power hungry moment? Then I had to be bold, gather my courage, and begin my teaching career.
It takes courage to know that as a teacher, I have a great influence on someone else’s life. It may be a good one or it could be a terrible one but I have that power in me to affect someone else for the rest of their life. I need to be able to find the right words and questions that will help them live productive adult lives.
It also takes courage to know that I don’t know everything. It is alright if I learn some new things from my students. It is alright to even let my students know that I don’t know everything. It takes courage to learn new things and open up to possible failures. My students will learn that I am making an effort to learn and they will also learn from me how I handle the results. If I fail, will I try again or will I give up. It takes courage to have my students observe my behavior and learn from it.
It takes courage to not always be in control. Sometimes it is good for students to learn control but have me there as a safety net in case something goes wrong. I remember when I had my first student teacher in my class and how hard it was to let him have control. I wanted to jump in and keep him from making mistakes but I realized that was how he was going to learn and remember not to do it again. When my children were little, I wanted to do the same things but it wasn’t healthy for them and it wasn’t right. The same works in my classroom. It is really hard for me because I know I am such a control freak!
Connecting with others online has really caused me to think about my beliefs and practices. I read many blogs and have built up my personal/professional learning network. I have learned new things that are really exciting! I’ve also learned things that I didn’t agree with or wasn’t my cup of tea. I believe this connecting has helped me grow so much in my personal and my professional life. But I have to admit, connecting was scary and hard for me. I’m pretty shy and scared of messing up. But slowly and with the help of my new “friends,” I have gotten more comfortable with connecting and sharing. Blogging was really scary for me when I started this almost five years ago. I was putting out my personal thoughts and ideas. I didn’t know if anyone would read them, or care. And then what if they disagreed with me or thought what I said was stupid? I bit the bullet and got up my courage to do it anyway and I’m glad I did.
I have many different hobbies and interests but I’m always thinking about the connection of them with teaching/learning. I love to hike, garden, travel, read, and knit but there are so many ways that I can connect them with my teaching which I also love.
Having the courage to teach has taught me that I do matter. I matter to the students I teach. By realizing that I matter to them, helps me realize how much they matter to me. They influence my life in many ways as much as I hope to influence their lives.
What do you think about Angela’s statements? Please share in your comments or write your own blog post (but please leave the link in the comments so I can read it).