Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Shake them TeacHaters off!

Believe it or not....there is some unofficial form of initiation, pledging or "crossing over" that many teachers  undergo before they are fully accepted as faculty members.  It may sound ridiculous given how emotionally and physically draining the job has become.  Why would any teacher choose to make one of the toughest jobs even harder by not sharing their successful track record secrets with rookie teachers?  Especially since, the weakness and chaos of one ineffective teacher threatens the solidarity and strength of the entire student body.  Uhhh...yes...there is only one school name and test score!  So why on school earth would a teacher make public attempts to assist and orientate new recruits while secretively sabotaging their success or making bets against their longevity?   Shame...Shame...Shame!  Bad Teacher...Bad Teacher!

Of course there are exceptions, where teachers go over and beyond the call of duty to mentor and support new teachers.  However, in a field as stressful as teaching, there is absolutely NO room or excuses for mean professionals who serve as initiators, bullies and dream snatchers.   But unfortunately, however, they do exist.  So if you are a new teacher who happens to be the weakest link this school year and your classroom neighbors are impatiently awaiting your early burnout in order to collect on their bet about you not surviving past the first week...let alone the first month...here is a list of steps to help you stay your course:

  1. Invite someone from outside the school to observe your classroom delivery, organization, management and student relationships.  Make sure you are willing and ready to accept their constructive criticism.
  2. Reevaluate your reasons for choosing teaching as a career in the first place and decide if it truly matches your passion and skill set.  It is better to be a sane quitter than an evil and crazy ass veteran who really hates children but stays and anticipates retirement each year.
  3. Get back on your grind by revisiting some of the basic principles of classroom management.  Harry Wong is a cool start, but challenge yourself to really understand the depth of adolescent and child psychology.  And furthermore, start to journal and document your own stats and strategies. 
  4. Surround yourself with those that really love the job!  Avoid the burnouts, gossipers and complainers.  There really is a Law of Attraction.
  5. Spice up your reputation by teaching or sponsoring a hobby or activity that you really love as an after-school or lunch club. 
  6. Avoid sending your problems outside the classroom, unless it is life-threatening.  You only weaken your position and effectiveness when you just throw students out your class.  Usually the most difficult students are covering some kind of insecurity or issue...it is your job to expose it in a loving and supportive manner.  Even if it means you catch them off guard by making a surprise visit by their home, lunch table, recess or after-school activity.  Just make a point of lovingly harassing a disruptive student during their free time.
  8. Avoid bribing with extrinsic rewards.  Affirming words of encouragement, sincere compliments, real talk and tough love go a long way in this business.  
  9. Make sure your hygiene and breath are in check, along with your cleavage and ass prints.  You must check your thirst for attention at the doorstep of your home.  Don't even bring it to the parking lot of the school.  Too many people are beginning to associate HOES with teachers.  This is not good!  If you are still trying to live out your high school or college reputations...STOP IT! You must assume the ADULT position at all times.  Sorry! 
  10. Make sure that you have really mastered a lesson before teaching it.  Where has all the scholarship among teachers gone?  So what you have multiple degrees.  Have you mastered your craft through self-study and discipline? There are too many educators NOT honing their talents through rigorous self-study and development! 
I think ten is enough to at least get you off the hit and hater's list!  Now go and get 'em teacher tiger!

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