Teaching & Education Beliefs: I Am an Educator

Pile of small chalkboardsIn today’s part of Teaching & Education Beliefs, I want to share with you the first 20 of the top 100 beliefs I have about teaching and education.

Last week, we discussed where beliefs about teaching come from – mostly our parents and our own teachers. This post lists some helpful tips that I found useful throughout my career.

  1. I am an educator. I teach, I coach, I present, I motivate, I do public speaking, I write, I do my community work. In all those roles, I educate kids and grownups on how to find the gifts they have inside and let themselves shine.
  2. School is not a place where kids come to gain knowledge; it is a small version of real life. Children have opportunities to use trial and error without detrimental consequences. Kids come to school to learn about themselves, grow and evolve.
  3. All teachers swear never make the same mistakes as the teachers they hated most when they were in school. I thank the horrible teachers I had for helping me making me this oath with the utmost conviction.
  4. Unfortunately, having a teaching degree does not make you a teacher.
  5. To teach is to touch a life forever. Every person has those 2 or 3 teachers who left a mark on their lives. When I teach a kid, I hope to teach him something that will pass on to their child and their child’s child. My goal is to make a difference for many generations to come.
  6. Teaching is my calling, I live it every day. I was lucky enough that the trajectory of my career keeps my passion for teaching alive, even 27 years later. If you get up in the morning and find yourself angry at your students because you are sick and tired of repeating the same thing over and over again, take a break from teaching. It is not their fault that you had to teach the same year level last year or that the curriculum has been the same for the last 5 year.
  7. Outdoors Class LessonEvery time my students succeed, it is also my success.
  8. Drinking water is very important for learning. I make sure all my students have water bottles on their tables and I remind them to drink plenty of water.
  9. Kids net to eat while learning. It is a great formula for success. The brain records information along with the tastes and smells in the room. I do not mind if my students eat or chew gum while I teach. If it is a private session, I always have food handy.
  10. Changing atmosphere is very effective in stimulating kids’ interest. I change the classroom setting at least 4 times a year. I try to have a special session once a week, in the park, sitting on the floor, sitting on the table, on the lawn.
  11. “Teen years” are a grownup invention. People often think teenagers are troublesome. Everybody at every age has problems. Nothing major happens during teen years. They are only good kids trying to fight a bad image they have done nothing to earn.
  12. Teens kissing and hugging each other at school is a wonderful way for them to feel connected and to give and receive physical touch in a healthy way.
  13. Every kid must feel special in some way. If home cannot give this feeling to the child, I will. It is easy to find things that kids are good at and nourish them.
  14. It is part of my job description to talk to kids about feelings. How to recognize them and how to manage them. It is the first basic element of emotional intelligence.
  15. Consistency is comfort for kids. I aim to be very clear about my teaching ideology. It is OK to change your mind, but it is important to be clear.
  16. Each student has a special communication style. I need to try to recognize it and communicate with each of them in the appropriate style.
  17. A girl writing on a pageRunning around and playing is essential to kids’ development. I encourage my students to run around and play.
  18. It is part of my job description to make sure my students know that whatever happens to them, there is always a way out. There is always someone to help.
  19. Books are an essential part of kids’ lives. When I motivate my students to read, I am giving them a very important tool to help navigate through life. It inspires them to love new information (most of the information is presented to us through reading anyway).
  20. It is OK to share my feelings with the students and say “I am tired today”, “I am sad today”. It only shows them I am human and is a good example for sharing feelings.

Join me next week for 20 more empowering beliefs about teaching and education.

Happy teaching,