Teach, Learn & Grow!

teachers thoughts Aug 15, 2023

Ah, summer. Those lazy mornings, the scent of sunblock, the sound of kids laughing in the distance. It’s more than just a season; it's a mood, right? 

For many, it's a moment to kick off those school shoes and dip our toes into the cool ocean, or simply indulge in a good book in our favourite book.

But here's the thing: while your calendars might say you're on a break, the teacher in you? Well, it's always on the clock. 

Between those sun-soaked moments, you often find yourself reflecting… 

Remember that time when one of your pupils finally grasped a difficult concept after weeks of struggle, or when you tried a new activity that ended up being the highlight of the month? 


Made plenty of those too. But hey, that’s how we grow.

Every summer, amid the ice creams and sunsets, there's a quiet, personal journey happening. A look back at the year gone by, and a hopeful gaze into the one ahead.

It's not about charts, grades, or lesson plans. It's about heartbeats, laughter, and those little 'aha!' moments.

So, as you unwind, know that you're not just recharging for a new academic year, you're reconnecting with your passion, your purpose, and your promise to every child that walks into your classroom.

The Magic of Reflection

You know how sometimes you just catch your reflection in a window or mirror, and it makes you pause for a second? Well, reflection in our work life is kind of like that, too.

Each school year is a wild ride, right? 

In every class, every student brings something new and challenging to the table. But have you ever just stopped and thought about it all? 

Not in a big, formal way, but more like a chat with an old friend.

It's not about making everything sound complicated. It's just you, asking yourself a few simple questions…

These little moments of introspection, they're like secret gold mines. You dig in, and you find these nuggets of wisdom about yourself, your teaching style, and even about life.

So, grab a cup of your favourite drink, find a quiet spot, and give yourself a little time to think. Trust me; it's one of the simplest, most beautiful things you can do for yourself. 

A few questions can pave the way for more profound insights.

  • Where did I triumph last year? Beyond the grades and success metrics, this question delves into the heart of personal accomplishments. Perhaps it was an innovative lesson plan that worked wonders or a challenging parent-teacher meeting that you navigated with grace. 


  • What could I have done differently? Reflection without judgement breeds growth. Maybe you envisioned more collaborative projects, but time constraints got the better of you. Or perhaps, you aimed to integrate more school trips to complement the curriculum.


  • Where do I wish to grow professionally? The landscape of education is vast. It could be a newfound interest in digital teaching tools, attending a workshop on inclusivity in classrooms, or diving into the rich tapestry of student psychology.


Setting Authentic Goals

Have you ever just jotted down goals on a piece of paper? I've been there! But you know, it's more than just making a list.

It's kind of like telling yourself a story about what you really want, isn't it? It's not just about jotting down a wishlist on a piece of paper. 

Nah, it's something deeper, something more personal. 

It's like having a heart-to-heart with yourself, figuring out your true desires, and then rolling up your sleeves to make them happen. It's aligning what you dream about with what you do every day. It's your personal roadmap, one only you can create.


  • Focus on the Holistic: While classroom strategies and teaching techniques are integral, don't forget the broader picture. Could this be the year you blend mindfulness into your teaching approach? Or perhaps it's time to initiate a community project linking education to societal change.


  • Chunk It Down: As educators, we often tell our pupils to break tasks into manageable chunks. Apply the same principle. Rather than a broad goal of “introduce more interactive learning”, how about “incorporate one more interactive activity per week”?


  • Be Adaptive: The world isn’t static, nor should your goals be. Mid-year, you might discover a new pedagogical tool or face unforeseen challenges. Adjust your goals accordingly, ensuring they serve you rather than constrain you.


The Power of Visualization

The brain doesn’t distinguish between vividly imagined scenarios and reality. Harness this!

So, think about that teaching project you've had in the back of your mind. Picture it. Seriously, close your eyes right now and imagine it all coming together. 

Can you see those bright-eyed pupils, their faces lighting up with those "I get it!" moments? 

Feel that warm buzz you get when you realise, "Hey, they're really getting this!"

Using that feeling, that buzz, can be your secret sauce. Let it pump you up, guide you, and be that gentle nudge saying, "You got this!" 


Committing to Lifelong Learning

Education isn’t restricted to children. As facilitators of learning, there's an inherent need for teachers to remain pupils at heart.

With the explosion of online resources, there's a dearth of avenues to explore. Perhaps it's time to dive into the world of virtual reality in classrooms or understand the nuances of differentiated instruction. 

Be it through formal courses, workshops, or insightful discussions with peers, remain inquisitive.


Celebrating the Milestones

A goal achieved is a milestone in your teaching journey. Whether it’s successfully implementing a new teaching tool or witnessing an introverted student lead a class presentation, every achievement, no matter the scale, deserves recognition.


The Year Ahead

The unknown journey of the upcoming academic year can be both exhilarating and daunting…

…But armed with reflection, clear goals, visualisation, a commitment to learning, and the spirit of celebration, the year can be not just about imparting education but also about personal and professional evolution.

To every educator standing on the brink of this new journey, here’s a toast to the myriad experiences, challenges, joys, and learnings that await. 

May this year be the symphony of growth you envision.

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