Students, past and present, motivate me!
“The future of the world is in my classroom today.”
Related Post: Students First
Related Post: Students First
Which is why we must make the conscious decision to talk about our blessings more than our challenges. Our strengths more than our stressors. Our excitement more than our fears. Our possibilities more than our problems.
But we have to see them to know them.
Related Post: Set a time limit on negativity.
Today’s story begins in the middle of my kickboxing class. The point in time where you feel like giving up the most.
Because the middle is always the hardest. Whether it be the middle of a semester, the middle of a week, or the middle of a dentist appointment. Ugh!
It was thirty minutes into class, and we had just finished a really tough round. I wanted to celebrate how far we’d come, so I began clapping and cheering.
Despite my excitement, my instructor gave me a curious look and said: “Why are you clapping Andrea? We are far from being done.”
She was right. We still had a significant amount of time left in our workout. But I wasn’t clapping because we were finished. I was clapping because we had hit the wall and survived. I was clapping to energize!
A cheering strategy that I often use in my own classroom. Students are geared up at the start of the semester and pumped up at the end. It’s in the middle that their commitment starts to falter.
This is when I clap wholeheartedly simply because students show up to class. A fun gesture underscoring how much I value their commitment to education. And they love it!
Today I am reminded how small gestures energize big time in the midst of a challenge. Be it a high five. A wide smile. A kind word. Or calling students by name.
Because beginnings have their own ticker parades. And endings take care of themselves.
It’s in the middle of a challenge where we need positive energy the most.
Related Post: What's your why?
No more unrelenting trials.
Lay down your burdens.
You have strengthened from your burdens.
You have developed. You have grown.
Trust your wisdom. Trust your wings.
How will you celebrate your country's birthday this year?
This question came to mind last week when I took over a college class halfway through the semester.
I know how tough it is for students to have 2 professors over the course of a 12 week semester. 2 sets of rules. 2 sets of expectations.
So it’s more important than ever that I play my “first impression” card right.
Students are more likely to “test the limits with the “new teacher”. Accordingly, I use a more strict than usual demeanour at the start of summer semester.
It usually works well. As my tough love approach becomes more on the love side, and less on the tough side as the weeks roll by.
However, this time I knew my first class authoritarian approach was not going to work.
Suddenly I had my hands full right off the bat. One of my students was not impressed in any way.
After laying down the law, the student looked up at me and said: “I’m not going to like you very much.”
And I said: “Good, because I’m not here to be liked, I’m here to teach you something.”
The student loudly responded: “Good, because I just learned something!”
To this day I am grateful for how much this student underscored my purpose in the classroom.
I am not here to be liked. I am here to teach.
A life lesson in self-worth that applies to us all.
Your Turn: Would you rather be liked or respected?