Leaving your comfort zone is never a good feeling.
What if your way isn’t the “right way?”
What if your technique and style are questioned?
Who do you turn to as a mentor when everyone is new to you?
Over the past two weeks I have been moving into a new school in a new school district. Actually, all my items were moved into my room in one day. Actually, I haven’t really done much moving at all.
Instead, I have gone into school for about one hour everyday over the last two weeks and I walk the halls. I play it off as I’m lost or made a wrong turn. What I am really doing to looking into classroom and trying to learn some of the norms and expectations in the school.
Along my daily walks I have met different teachers each day setting up their own rooms. I usually start with a quick introduction about myself and they offer the same to me. Next, I sit back and listen to their perspective about school and what they are looking forward to. Admittedly, I have found some very excited folks who have been working all summer on improving their craft while others look disappointed to return to the old brick and mortar.
I ask every person the same question — Is there anything major I need to know to get along well here?
Then it hits … negativity.
It’s the sin of education and often found in planning rooms. Each person has given me a different answer to the questions but answers stem from behaviors, lost instructional time, and struggling readers.
I have been turning the comments around with quirky anecdotes like thank goodness all of those problems still occur or we wouldn’t have jobs anymore. Yes, sometimes I get a sincere laugh, but I don’t get that warm and fuzzy feeling from most of the chuckles.
Unfortunately, teachers cannot fix every problem a student faces at home, but for the hours they are in our care we can make a huge difference. My goal for this year is to build off the hashtag #COUNTDOWNTOGREATNESS every week. How am I going to keep myself going as strong week one as mid-year and the end of the year?
Step 1 – Stay positive. Turn others doubts about students into optimism.
Step 2 – Show students love daily. Students won’t work hard for you until they know you care about them.
Step 3 – Work with each child as if they were your own child.
If I make these steps routine, I am going to turn my new position into a great position.