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Click above to listen to this podcast episode. Below is the transcript for Student-Centered World Podcast Episode 23: “Keeping Faith in Yourself as a Teacher“
Hey guys, and welcome to another week of the Student-Centered World podcast. Today, I want you to have a little bit of a conversation with yourself because we often know that not only are we our own worst critics, but we are also a lot of times the person that we listen to the least. A lot of times, that leads to a lot of negative effects both in our professional life, personal life, and right now this is a really difficult season for teaching. So, I want to give you some words of wisdom that I think can help get you through and help you keeping faith in yourself.
Welcome to the Student-Centered World podcast where we talk about all things hands-on teaching and keeping your energy and sanity in the classroom. This teacher turned consultant is making it her mission to help as many teachers as possible become the best version of themselves and keep their passion for teaching on fire. It’s her hope that we never forget why we desire to have a passion for educational progress. This is Student-Centered World, and this is Jenn Breisacher.
Today I wanted to take a few minutes to encourage keeping faith. I’m not talking about faith in a higher power or faith in the universe, or the government or your school district administration. I’m talking about keeping faith in yourself, you became a teacher because you wanted to make a difference.
If you were a teacher that signed on because you wanted summers off, or you wanted to coach or whatever, you’re not listening to me talk right now. You’re here, you jumped into the Facebook group, you’re participating in here because you love being a teacher, even though some days might not feel like that right now.
But you love helping your students, you love the aha moments you love all of the cliche things we say about being teachers. By being here, you are doing what you can, keeping faith to try to find the best way to move forward this school year for you and your mental and physical health and also that of your students.
As teachers, that’s what we do. It’s what we just have such a passion for. You need to keep that faith in yourself that you can do this and you’re going to rock at it. It’s not necessarily a perfect scenario. Not everything that you try is going to be perfect but you’re here because you want to try to find a way to make it work. We don’t know what’s happening this school year, that’s why you’re here. Keeping faith in yourself that you’re going to do the best job that you can do that saves your own sanity in the interim.
We were not doing distance learning in the spring. We were doing crisis learning in the spring, we were taking spaghetti and throwing it against every wall to find out what would stick to make us get through the year to be able to hopefully teach our students something.
A lot of people failed at that and if you’re not confident, you’re not comfortable with how you did in the past, and you are here then more than ever, you need to be keeping faith in yourself. Because you understand that you weren’t happy with what you did and maybe you don’t have the guidance from your school that’s going to help you do it better. I want to help you do it better.
Don’t Forget Your Impact
I was speaking to a lady today that I came across and I was explaining to her what I do for work and she was so excited to hear it. She was like I know so many teachers that are trying to find this balance. Can you please write down your information so I can get it to them? Yes, if you have colleagues or friends, co-workers, family members that are in education that are trying to figure this out right now.
The articles, the podcasts, I put it out there because I want to help you keeping faith. I want you to have confidence and I try to pick things that I see people talking about right now to discuss. I give ideas on how you can do distance learning without an issue, how you can come up with different programs, and different ways to collaborate. It’s going to keep going. You can get it done. Have the faith in yourself, that you’re going to be able to digest this to plan for it and to get it done.
I have faith in you guys. I’m in here I’m talking to you every day, I go in, you ask questions, you have comments, I get emails, I get messages, and I try to answer every single person to the best of my ability. If I don’t know an answer, I’m trying to find it for you. That’s what I do. So, if you find that you don’t have the time or the bandwidth, right now to try to figure out something that you know you’re going to need to figure out.
I will try to help you figure it out because that’s why I’m here, to try to help you as much as I can. So, you are confident, knowing it’s going to be a mess. It’s going to be a little bit of a cluster, but you’ll have a plan that can be adapted if you need to and you’ll be ready to make it happen.
Please do something for yourself today. Please enjoy this Saturday. If you have a nice day, go take a walk, go do something, clear your head. So again, anything that I can help you with any questions that you have anything at all, get me a message, send me an email. I’m always willing to help or chat. So, I hope you found this little bit helpful, a little enlightening, and you have a great week.
If You’re Not Keeping Faith, who will?
The key piece to remember is that if you’re not keeping faith in yourself as a teacher, then who will? Our hesitations, fears, and concerns trickle down to our students and you won’t have the classroom climate that you truly want to succeed. This is especially true when you’re beginning your career and haven’t had the chance to get used to your new role.
Seasons change and teaching is hard. Keeping faith that you have this, no matter how much you are struggling in the moment, is half the battle.
Faith is a powerful thing. Without it, most people would quit teaching after the first day. In our profession, we must have faith in ourselves as teachers and that learning is happening through us even when we feel like things aren’t going well or that students are not engaged. You still have to believe that you can change a student’s life no matter if they are in Kindergarten or 12th grade.
Faith is also a thing that you need to gain through experience and some of us simply don’t get enough of it. There will be days that you think, “I’ve got nothing,” and then there will be others that you celebrate all that you accomplish. You should always celebrate the small wins because it helps build your faith to know that you can do this, but there will be days when what you think is nothing might actually be a big accomplishment for others.
It is hard to separate your emotions from how students are behaving, especially if you’ve never had kids before, but the only way to make it through those low days is to know that you’re doing your best and that’s all anyone can ask.
Faith will be tested throughout your career. You might wonder what you got yourself into or what you’re actually even doing, but if you know that you are working hard to help students grow, then the rest will fall into place.
Do what works for you to stay focused and motivated. Find out what kinds of things motivate you and do those things as much as possible so that there is always something to keep your faith alive. Sometimes the best thing to do is just pick one thing to focus on in your life, whether it’s something you’re passionate about or just knowing that you are working hard for yourself and others.
Keeping Faith in Yourself with the 4 Keys
We know that we value our worth in the classroom by how our students receive our lessons. Coming up with activities that will engage your students, it just needs to ebb and flow with the students and where they are (physically, mentally, and emotionally). Being flexible is the key to making all of this work. The key is engagement. There are four keys to student engagement that I discuss in my video training challenge that releases twice per year. It is called “Finding Your Student Engagement Formula” and it walks you through those four keys and how to implement them in the classroom.
If you are interested in registering (it’s totally free), visit the Finding Your Student Engagement Formula Challenge registration page and you will be notified the next time the series is available.