Thursday, June 28, 2012

Be Awesome

I absolutely LOVE this TED talk and found myself relating it back to teaching, as I somehow always manage to do. :)

Attitude. I can't tell you how many hours of sleep I lost trying to "perfect" my lesson plans during my student teaching. Little did I know very few things ever actually go according to plan, especially lesson plans. Teaching is all about having the right attitude. There were mornings that I didn't have my coffee, but as soon as I stepped foot in the classroom I was ready to teach. Last quarter after a particularly painful math lesson, frustrations in the class were high. I had been teaching fractions all placement long. Deflated, my cooperating teacher and I were about ready to throw in the towel. In fact, that would have been the easier option, but instead, we reflected on the lesson after school and talked about our next steps. Clearly what we were doing wasn't working. What else could we try? What steps could we take moving forward? These were the questions we asked. We were proactive. We had the right attitude. Remember to never give up on your students because they can always learn.

Awareness. I am completely entranced with the craft of teaching and always approach it with a sense of wonder. How can this kindergartner to my right be reading at a first grade level and this kindergartner to my left not know how to read? More importantly, why can't this kindergartner to my left read? Half the fun of teaching, in my opinion, is getting to know your students and figuring out ways to make your teaching accessible. The brain is such a complicated network of connections, the best you can do is try something and if it doesn't work try something new. No two students are exactly the same and in a lot of ways you need that childish enthusiasm and awareness to carry you forward and make a breakthrough.

Authenticity. Have you ever driven a car that wasn't your own? What's the first thing you do when you get in? You have to adjust the seat, fiddle around with the side and rear-view mirrors, cringe at the crappy state the brakes are in, it's just an awkward seven minutes you spend getting settled before you can actually drive. This is what student teaching is like in the beginning. You're working in parameters that aren't your own. I spent a lot of my student teaching figuring out what my teaching style was and more importantly, what it wasn't. Experimenting with different styles was helpful in clarifying who I was as a teacher and certainly don't be afraid to try new things, but remember you are you. I feel my teaching is at its best when I am able to be myself and truly follow my passion for teaching.

This might all explain why I think teaching is so gosh darn AWESOME. What are your thoughts on Pasricha's three A's? Do you have a 4.0?


  1. I used the exact same car analogy when I was describing student teaching to someone else. Come to think of it you probably stole it from me :P I think what is most compelling about ideas like "The Three A's" is how much your reflection on them can change. You will continue to see these ideas through a new lens and experience their meaning in different ways as you progress and grow as a teacher. Your thoughts are very encouraging. Keep it up!

  2. Yay my first comment! I knew it came to me too easily when I was writing this post. Don't worry, you can take the credit. I'm glad you find my thoughts encouraging and thanks so much for the support! :)

  3. This is a great post. Thank you for sharing.

    I am happy to be your newest follower. I would love for you to hop over and visit me when you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart

  4. Thanks Heather. I will definitely check it out! :)