Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hopes for New Teachers

In Jeff’s post, Michael Jordan says it’s okay to fail, he shares a youtube video for a Nike commercial where Michael Jordan talks about some of his failures, yet he still is a success. I think it is great that he shares this with the public. Too many times our “heroes” portray this invincible persona that steer students in the wrong direction. I remember reading the book For the Love of the Game: My Story by Michael Jordan to my class and how they found this inspirational. Of course there is the movie Rudy with Sean Astin, which also has the theme of never give up. Richard Nixon lost the presidential election in 1960, and governor’s race in 1962, but did not give up and won the presidential election in 1968. Abraham Lincoln lost an election in 1832, in 1856, he lost the bid to become a candidate for Vice President, and in 1858, he lost the senate race but he didn’t give up and finally won the Presidency in 1860. These are just a few examples of people who haven’t given up despite some of the failures they may have faced.

As the beginning of the school year approaches, I wondered how many new teachers would face failure in their classes and have the strength and fortitude to hang in there and keep going. I thought about the hopes I have for these new teachers and wanted to share this with you.

I hope that:
1. You do not let what you consider to be failure blind you from what you can do to improve or change your situation.
2. You do not let failure be used as an easy excuse for not doing better.
3. You do not let every failure keep you from seeing the successes that happen in your classroom.
4. You see each failure as a step to help you learn to be more successful.
5. You accept that you are still new to this and things won’t always work out wonderful and great.
6. You seek veteran teachers to help you, not just for academic support but for emotional support too.
7. You don’t react to failures in a way that keeps you from continually looking for new ways to reach your students.
8. You will be even more determined to overcome your failures and in this way be a role model for your students.
9. You see failures as a small blip on your career screen and that there will be events to brag about in the future.
10. You do not let fear of failure keep you from being the best that you can be.

If you are a veteran teacher, what hopes do you have for new teachers?


Anonymous said...

These are great Pat! As a veteran of 21 years, my hope is always that new teachers feel comfortable with coming to me and asking for help. I think one of the biggest factors is that emotional support. My school is all EH/LD kids and we have to support each other - laugh together, cry together - always remembering we're in it together and it's always about kids!
Diane Aronow

Mrs. Johnson said...

I don't know if I would say I am a veteran but this will be my tenth year in the classroom. I hope you remember to ask for help when you need it, we may seem busy but believe me we have been in your shoes. I hope you remember to get sleep. You can have the greatest lesson plans that you put a ton of time into but if you are not rested it won't show. I hope you remember why you became a teacher in the first place. Start keeping tidbits and reminders of why you do what you do for reference when the going gets tough. These are helpful to pull out and look at when its not easy. I hope you remember your sense of humor. Sometimes you will need to laugh at yourself. "A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It's jolted by every pebble on the road."
(Henry Ward Beecher) I hope you remember to have fun!

Karen Janowski said...

When I watched this video a few weeks ago, I wanted to encourage ALL teachers to view it. I think the message is an important one for teachers who are afraid to pursue the use of technology in their classrooms. No matter what our age, it is vital that we continue to learn from failures and learn to take risks despite the consequences.
So, it's not just a message for new teachers (or students).

loonyhiker said...

Diane: the support can make a big difference! Glad you have a wonderful support system.

loonyhiker said...

ms. mize: Thanks so much for great suggestions. Sleep is definitely important otherwise you will be cranky and burned out the next day. I love the suggestion of keeping tidbits and reminders too.

loonyhiker said...

Karen: you are so right. All teachers need to be inspired at different times in their career. Thanks for reading!

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M-Dawg said...

Great post!

I hope that the "rookies" can go to a vet teacher for help at any time and reach out for support whenever they need it.

I hope they remember to take care of themselves, physically, emotionally, and spiritually (plan quality YOU time) at least once a day.

And, don't beat yourself up if something doesn't go right. Continue to be positive.

And, have fun! Isn't it why you went into teaching???? :-)

loonyhiker said...

m-dawg: Thanks for the suggestions! They were great! You are right, teaching is a lot of fun!