7 things you should let go of to become a happier teacher

 

It’s that time of year when we reflect on our classes and wonder how we can become a better teacher and yet at the same time, maybe we should also ask ourselves how we can become a happier teacher. So, without further ado: 7 things you can do to become a happier teacher and please add YOURS in the comments below.

(Credit where credit is due—“The 15 things you should give up in order to be happy” on Purpose Fairy by Dana was shared over 1,125,000 times, so I’d say it’s worth checking out)

 

1) Let go of the need to always be right (#1 on Dana’s list too)

There’s an amazing power when you let go of this (and it has happened to us all… not feeling good enough because we don’t immediately know the answer to a student’s question).  Plus there’s a great power in having students seek out the answers when you don’t know.  Either way, giving yourself this space is so important (imho).

 

2) Let go of  control every now and again ( ❤ this etymology and #2 on Dana’s list)

Give your students full responsibility over a certain period of class every day, week or month.  Let go and observe.  You probably already do it, and I often think I can do it even more.  And if you tend to bump heads often with admin, maybe choose your battles a bit more and just ‘let it be’ when you feel you can.

 

3) Let go of hurrying in and out of class

Courtesy of Lee R Berger via Wikipedia Commons

Take a minute (whenever possible), before and after class to write down what you’re excited about, what felt good about class, or leave that minute of 5 or 10 to talk to students in a more relaxed manner.  Likewise, I’ll never forget the calm I felt while living in China where for 3 years I made it a habit to take just a few minutes and sit in class and smile before ‘rushing’ off to wherever it was next.

 

4. Let go of your teacher island existence.

Courtesy of Fanny Schertzer via Wikipedia Commons

Connect with other professionals in your local context, online, at conferences.  Share your challenges and successes.  I think this should almost be number one because I know how much it’s brought me in the past year since I’ve really engaged in my professional development mostly through exchange with other teachers.

 

5) Let go of the expectation that each lesson is going to be excellent.

How often are we really excited for a new class we’ve planned, and then we watch it come back and explode in our faces because of a detail we could’ve explained better or because that group of students just wasn’t into it that day, or… We learn so much through experimentation and if our students are lucky enough to have teachers that care and want to innovate, then we can take it a bit easier on ourselves when it things don’t ‘go right’.  Easier said than done, but so true.

 

6) Let go of your need to be approved.

Connect with students, but keep a professional distance.  Allowing a healthy emotional connection is fine, but you are their teacher first, not their friend. (i’ve learned this the hard way)

 

 

7) Lastly, REMEMBER that etymologies speak so much truth

Did you know that happy meant lucky in English until the 14th century?  And so it was for many European languages from Greek to Irish (more here).

I think from a historical perspective this makes sense considering that things “happened” to the average citizen 500 years ago (from a fatalistic point-of-view), more so than today when we are lucky enough to have a bit more choice and freedom.   Indeed, we are lucky to be in the profession we’re in, and also we should remember that most of our happiness is our reaction to what happens to us (yes, that’s kind of an etymological pun).

 

So… what would you add to the list? I’d love to get to 15 with your help ;-)

 

Cheers, Brad

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--- i'm a learner-teacher, language geek, outdoorsy kind-of-guy --- U might miss the next tweet... Wanna subscribe by email ? ;-)
 
  • http://twitter.com/MarianSteiner Marián Steiner

    Touché ;) Excellent post, Brad.

  • http://twitter.com/bcBuge Candan Buge

    Teaching can become more enjoyable as long as students are engaged in the learning process. And if you take it easy, you will be happier, that’s right:-). Cheers!

  • phil wade

    Let go of the hope of ever getting a good cup of tea or coffee in the staff room kitchen or from a drinks machine.

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    ;-) merci monsieur

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    agree 100% Candan! Thanks for stopping by. -Brad

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    hahahahah… i hear ya, sir and thanks for adding #8 !!!

  • http://www.scoop.it/t/learning-teaching-leading-today/p/2093584861/7-things-you-should-let-go-of-to-become-a-happier-teacher 7 Things You Should Let Go Of To Become A Happier Teacher | Learning, Teaching & Leading Today | Scoop.it

    [...] "It’s that time of year when we reflect on our classes this year, and often wonder how we can become a better teacher and yet at the same time, maybe we should also ask ourselves how we can become a happier teacher. So, without further ado: 7 things you can do to become a happier teacher and please add YOURS in the comments."  [...]

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    #9 from twitter: Let go of outdated classroom practices via @goubeauty

  • http://twitter.com/seburnt Tyson Seburn

    Let go of comparing the conditions of your job to mainstream school teachers (and university professors).

    Otherwise, great ideas, Brad!

  • http://twitter.com/MeghanBeler Meghan Beler

    Let go of the need to follow the lesson plan…sometimes. Some of the best, most memorable lessons I have ever experienced are the ones in which the plan went out the window!

  • Joy Kirr

    Brilliant post! I think I need to post it by my bed and remind myself each night!!!

    Let go of negativity from other teachers or students who complain. You can role-model optimism all day, every day, and some people are just not optimistic. That’s okay. They make the world go ’round.

    Thank you for the reminders!! -@JoyKirr

  • http://twitter.com/CoughlinLaura Laura Coughlin

    Great post. This is a piece of lots of the items on your list, but: Let go of taking yourself too seriously! It will improve relationships with teachers and students, and everything will be more fun. The kids love a class where they know it’s ok to laugh.

    -Laura Coughlin

  • Bethany

    I always tell my students that we are friendly, but we aren’t friends.

  • http://twitter.com/Mtranslator Marisa Pavan

    Great post, Brad! Sound advice!
    Hugs!
    Marisa

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    THANKS Marisa ;-)

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Exactly, and I’m glad to hear this again. Actually in an EdWeek article that answered my question on the subject, Larry Ferlazzo and his colleagues said that phrase almost word-for-word: http://blogs.edweek.org/teachers/classroom_qa_with_larry_ferlazzo/2011/10/response_part_two_–_can_teachers_be_friends_with_students.html

    Thanks Bethany!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Thanks Joy… yes and on Dana’s original post that inspired me she said “let go of the negative self-talk”. HUGE benefits, but not easy to do, eh!?!

    Glad you enjoyed it and honored by your kind words. Cheers!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Like this one, Ty. Merci for adding to the list!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Great addition, Laura and I agree 100% and almost the opposite, sometimes have to hold myself back from being too silly in class ;-) Cheers!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Love this one, Meghan, and agree wholeheartedly. I know the dogme folk in ELT are right with you as well! Thanks for stopping by. -Brad

  • http://twitter.com/flourishingkids Joan Young

    Great post! I think that there are many habits and concepts we cling to that are reinforced by our own traditional experience with school! For me, I need to let go of “expectations” that students will act a certain way based on what others have told me about them. I need to start each day allowing them to show me how they have grown and changed. In other words, we need to be open to “reframe”, to see a situation through another lens. Thanks for getting me thinking this morning!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Great point, Joan. Yes, we all bring ‘lenses’ to class and we need that framework, and yet we need it to be malleable too so we can adapt and grow. Kind of a balancing act, but honestly i think that’s one of my favorite things about being in class— the interplay of structure and anarchy!

    Thanks for stopping by and glad to hear that it got your morning started well.

    Cheers, Brad

  • http://twitter.com/esolcourses Sue Lyon-Jones

    Excellent stuff!

    Let go of the notion that you have to say yes to everything you are asked to do, would be my addition to the list.

    It took me a quite a while when I first started teaching to figure out that it is ok to say no sometimes when people ask you to do to things that are unnecessary, or which are not really part of your job!

    Sue :-)

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    love it, Sue, and that one is valuable for inside and of course OUTSIDE the classroom too!

    Thanks for stopping by and hope to see you soon! -panda

  • Lisa Dabbs

    Let go of your fear of failure! I think you may have alluded to it, but think it’s important to remember. Through our failures, comes our opportunity to pick ourselves up and press forward once again. Important to share this with students.

  • http://twitter.com/teachertorie Torie Leinbach

    Thanks for the useful reminders, Brad. Lisa, I concur with your comment.
    When trying something new in the classroom, especially technology, I am upfront with the students. My initial attempts do not always work, but students are accepting, and their subsequent input often helps create success. It is important for students to see that (most) teachers are indeed life-long learners. Therefore, I propose letting go of “do as I say, not as I do” thinking!

  • Christina Rebuffet-Broadus

    I’d say don’t beat yourself up mentally (or physically, if you’re that kind of person…) when you can’t be all things to all students in your class. If there are 20 or more of them and only 1 of you, of course you are going to fall short of someone’s expectations/wants at some point in time. Vary your approaches, activities, classroom organization, etc. so that at least you can make the rounds of all their needs throughout the course. Plus variety is the spice of (classroom) life!

  • Anonymous

    The one that I would add is to make time for your personal life. This is the one thing I struggle with most! I spend so much time planning, researching, connecting, etc. that I often neglect my family and myself. This is my goal this year!

  • http://www.scoop.it/t/leading-schools/p/2096139710/happier-teachers-mean-happier-students Happier teachers mean happier students | Leading Schools | Scoop.it

    [...] 7 things teachers should let go of to become a happier teacher adapted from “The 15 things you should give up in order to be happy.”  [...]

  • http://twitter.com/MrMatthewRay Matt Ray

    The teacher island thing is true in some regards, but it helps to be on an island if you’re surrounded by negativity all the time. Or…make a point to put yourselves in positions where you’re not surrounded by that negativity. This made a lot of difference for me a couple years back.

  • Terri J. Tomassi

    Focus on student learning gains and make that one end of the year state assessment just ‘part’ and not the end all. Developing a strong understanding of assessment makes accountability work both ways. Not only Am I monitoring my students’ learning and know I am doing my best but I view the reality of student learning as a year process. For me that view changes my worry and focus from one test and let’s me get on with the profession of beIng a good educator. I know what my students have learned and what efforts I have done to support that – regardless of one test or what an accountability system might say.

    That strength in understanding and my desire to grow is what grounds me and keeps the joy of teaching front and center. It helps push the worry of beIng judged by non-reaserched based tools aside. At least most of the time :)

  • http://french-learn.com/ Fabrice

    Hello,
    Not all the things are usefull for me,
    but I appreciate the 4th and 6th one.
    Thank you for these tips
    Fabrice

  • aggeliki asteri

    one very important thing that makes a difference trying the above mentioned attitude towards our proffesion, is the space that opens up before us to develop both as professionals and individuals!!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Great goal, and I believe it will be quite rewarding!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Variety indeed! There is a balance between growing and beating yourself up by expecting too much. Merci 4 stopping by, Christina!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Thanks for stopping by, Torie.

    Smart approach to “open up about experimenting” and thus have a bit more acceptance surrounding that and the teacher behind the experiments! Cheers, Brad

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    LOVE IT, Lisa. So true, and as Torie said above we can share by “do as I do (in not fearing experimenting/failure), and not as I say”

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hi Fabrice. Thanks for sharing. To each his own, and glad 4 and 6 were good points for you! Cheers, Brad

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    The journey not the destination. Fine comment and thank you for sharing it here, Terri! Cheers, Brad

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hi Matt. Yes, I can understand that, though thankfully haven’t had to encounter it often among my colleagues or students. Tough it would be an a bit of isolation could indeed help. All things in balance, but always tipping one way or another to experiment and find a new balance too ;-)

    Nice to catch you on the blog! Cheers, Brad

  • http://juandomingofarnos.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/7-things-you-should-let-go-of-to-become-a-happier-teacher-brad5patterson/ 7 things you should let go of to become a happier teacher @brad5patterson « juandon. Innovación y conocimiento

    [...] on http://www.edulang.com Tu voto:Me gusta:Me gustaBe the first to like this. [...]

  • Valkyrie1

    Great article! My weak spot is #2…. I LIKE being in charge! I have to remember to step back or throw in an activity that does not require my involvement, just light faciltation! The rest of these are good points I figured out already (but not always the easy way!).

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    I think there’s a time for everything, but I do agree that I could also find more time for them to be in charge. Life-long learning as a teacher, eh! Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Absolutely. Great point Aggeliki, and thanks for stopping by!

  • Anna

    It’s so nice to read this article…soooo nice:):):)

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    glad you liked it Anna ;-)

  • karen einstein

    when it comes to me improving as a teacher, my students are my best teachers; and, well those particularly “challenging” students are generally the ones who help me hone my “teaching” (and survival) skills. Humility is the road to grace (well, along with a good healthy dose of humor, that is)

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    ;-) whatever road I’m walking down, I often hope humor accompanies it. And I agree that students are among the best teachers out there! Lastly… did you know that humility comes from a latin word meaning “from the earth” as in close “close to the earth” or “lowly” or to humiliate someone is to bring them closer to the earth… humble hippies hence makes sense to me ;-) http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=humble&allowed_in_frame=0

  • Alismarsan

    teaching in a little village and knowing and having students in my class for many years makes it hard not to become attached, when they give me so much back. They keep me updated about technologies by sharing useful tips and they challenge me constantly, which keeps me going. Feeling they can also give me something back has proven to be very positive for them and it has also fueled their motivation. The drawback (or is it?) is that you can’t go back to be strict when needed… Keeping the balance is both rewarding and exhausting.
    Great tips, Brad!

  • Sophia

    Really enjoyed the post and the comments, thanks to all! Perhaps this is just me but I’d like to add “let go of comparing yourself to others” – there will always be someone better qualified or more experienced than you but a) feeling bad about it won’t change it, b) qualifications and experience doesn’t always mean “better”, and c) all that really matters is that YOU are doing your best and enjoying what you’re doing.

  • http://dougpete.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/otr-links-07052012/ OTR Links 07/05/2012 | doug – off the record

    [...] 7 things you should let go of to become a happier teacher | A journée in language. [...]

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hi Alismarsan. I agree, it is a balancing act, and I mention “being friendly and not friends” because I’ve had a few awkward experiences where either (as you mentioned) I lose a global authority in class because I’ve become more of a peer and not a leader of interaction, OR because students took it personally during assessment situations when they did less well (reflecting on our relationship and not their ability in English). So, long story, short, we’re saying the same thing and it’s beautiful to give and receive, but there just needs to be a balance ;-) Cheers, Brad

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hey Sophia. Love your addition and agree wholeheartedly for both in and outside of our profession (though it’s never easy to do). Merci for stopping by! Cheers, Brad

  • Mohamed

    Interesting article! Thanks heaps Brad and keep up the good work.
    I’m a teacher of English and I run a website that I hope you will visit. The link is :http://www.englishcounselor.com/.
    I’ll be expecting more articles from you!

  • Robiatul Adawiah Hamzah

    Wow…I love No. 6…sometimes I felt I really do wish they are adults – so I can treat them like one. But they are not. So my #8 would be to suggest Sincerely appreciate – that gifts/help/respect/love from students if they are sincerely shown – do try and appreciate even if it means to just smile…it means a lot to them…

  • http://twitter.com/myenglishteache MyEnglishTeacher

    This one is really good! I used to teach Russian language and had the same experience.

  • naomi epstein

    Brad! So funny, we just hashed out a list of DO and DON’T on this topic (though worded a bit differently) at the ETAI Conference in Jerusalem! it ended yesterday. Here’s the link to our list – you can compare and contrast! Yours is great!
    I guess this is the time of year we think of such things!
    Naomi

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hi Mohammed. Thanks for the kind words. Enjoyed checking out your website!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    I can understand what you mean Robiatul. A smile can be indeed very powerful. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers, Brad

  • http://twitter.com/annehodg Anne Hodgson

    Really like these, Brad – and no. 6 is so true. Sometimes it helps to allow a little more distance to students to relax your 360° expectations of them, and bingo, related conflicts sort themselves out.

  • http://www.scoop.it/t/just-tools/p/2117326962/7-things-you-should-let-go-of-to-become-a-happier-teacher 7 things you should let go of to become a happier teacher | JUST TOOLS | Scoop.it

    [...]   [...]

  • Stella Starlight

    I am a teacher from The Netherlands (so excuse my English) and I am shocked to read that teachers all over the world are suffering from high expectations, peer pressure, too much work- too little time.. And we all feel the responsibility to do our jobs excellent. In Holland, burn-out is the most common reason for absence among teachers. In no other occupation (education) are there so many people suffering from this modern disease.. Maybe it goes for teachers worldwide?
    My tip… let go of your perfectionism. There is always more work then you have time. Always. Prioritize!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Thanks Anne. I keep hearing ‘relax’ and ‘let go of expectations’. Must be something right, eh!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hi Stella. No need to excuse your English here, especially when it’s flawless!

    Burnout is an issue within our profession and I think you’ve brought up a good point with perfectionism. I didn’t even go that far w/ no. 6, but just ‘excellent’, so we’re definitely on the same page!

    Cheers, Brad

  • http://twitter.com/GetIntoEnglish David Sweetnam

    I’ve been in one or two negative school environments. Be aware that your mood today will affect your environment to some extent. It doesn’t mean that you should fake being ‘up’ but if your job really is bringing you unhappiness, then it might be a good time to evaluate the next step in your career.

    So, simply being aware of where you are today, and if this is where you want to be tomorrow.

  • http://mcsotos.wordpress.com/2012/07/07/%cf%83%cf%85%ce%bc%ce%b2%ce%bf%cf%85%ce%bb%ce%ad%cf%82-%ce%b3%ce%b9%ce%b1-%cf%87%ce%b1%ce%bb%ce%ac%cf%81%cf%89%cf%83%ce%b7/ Συμβουλές για χαλάρωση | Ars Longa Vita Brevis

    [...] δεν ξέρω τι να γράψω στο μπλογκ, διάβασα κάπου μια ανάρτηση κι είπα: «Ας γράψω για τη χαλάρωση»· πώς να διώχνεις το [...]

  • Rachel

    I am just starting a new job and 4 and 5 are going to be really important to me whilst I settle in.

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Well said, David. Being a teacher can be quite a challenge and as any other profession, it’s clear it’s not the right fit for everyone.

    Be aware of where you are today is about as solid of advice as you can give!

    Cheers, Brad

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    glad to hear that Rachel. Best of luck with your new job!

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    huh… replied to this via email but Disqus didn’t do its job. Sorry Naomi ;-) Can you shoot me the link. Interested to see what you all came up with at ETAI.

    Cheers, Brad

  • http://www.sharonzspace.com/?p=991 » The 29th ESL/EFL/ELL Blog Carnival sharonzspace

    [...] JULY 10th: 7 things you should let go of to become a happier teacher [...]

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  • http://fdroog.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/minstens-7-dingen-die-je-niet-meer-hoeft-te-doen-om-een-gelukkigere-leraar-te-worden/ Minstens 7 dingen die je NIET meer hoeft te doen om een gelukkigere leraar te worden « Droog's

    [...] Bronnen: Blogpost van Brad, een docent Engels; Blogpost van de Purpose Fairy Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInVind ik leuk:LikeBe the first to like this. [...]

  • Glenn

    #7 – Happiness and Good Fortune (i.e. Luck) are also the same in Czech “štěstí”. Great post! Thanks for sharing :)

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Make sense, right! Thanks for stopping by and for the kind words, Glenn!

  • Sylvia Guinan

    Brad, this is definitely your best – and the likes prove it – over 500

    My first time to see this….it’s not just thie idea, the imagery speaks volumes!!!!!

  • http://nicolaschneider.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/a-timid-twitter-chat-newbie-looks-in-on-the-new-teacher-chat-ntchat-on-twitter-july-11th2012/ A Timid Twitter Chat Newbie Looks in on the New Teacher Chat (#ntchat) on Twitter… July 11th/2012 « Nicola Schneider, FuntasticTeachr
  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Thanks Sylvia. I think it’s a very shareable, general audience post which explains a lot. I had a fun time picking out the images…. good times!

  • http://www.scoop.it/t/spalding-drive-charter-elementary-school/p/2187942438/7-things-you-should-let-go-of-to-become-a-happier-teacher 7 things you should let go of to become a happier teacher | @CanterAP (Spalding Drive Charter Elementary School) | Scoop.it

    [...] RT @eyeoneducation: 7 Things You Should Let Go Of to Become a Happier Teacher http://t.co/BOdaqcHR @brad5patterson #edchat #teaching #education…  [...]

  • whirliegig

    Great post Brad. The one I would add to the list would be: “Anticipate change in the system, accept change in yourself and others, embrace change as a new opportunity to learn”. I’ve been working in K-12 schools as an IT teacher for 27 years and take pride in my ability to focus my energies as a change agent for learning. Technology had altered the learning paradigm so radically the last 20 years that educators sometimes fail to recognize how critical this new design for knowledge acquisition / management has become for our children and so miss the opportunity to strengthen and broaden their work in this most noble of professions — teaching.

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hi Greg,

    Thanks so much for stopping by and contributing to the discussion. Adaptability, acceptance and adaptability. Sounds point-on to me! Glad to hear how they’ve been helping you as an IT teacher in a field that has of course changed radically as you’ve mentioned! Best from Paris, Brad

  • Murray

    Dear Brad

    All these ring very true… About #5 (and in concurrence with Lisa Dabbs) I could add that the failure of a lesson plan or class is just a challenge which starts unpleasantly! Not easy to turn that around when you’re in the thick of it, I know.

    Read he Etymology entries with great interest. About ‘hap…’, I didn’t see the adj. ‘hapless’ which (surprisingly?) has come down to us virtually with its original meaning – as also the expression ‘it happens to be…’

    Bonne Rentrée when it comes
    Murray

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Hi Murray,

    Thanks for stopping by. Yes #5 is really key for me… as I always want to do the best (or better) and we have to be able to just explore sometimes with fewer expectations. Etymologies are among my favorite areas of study in the world… I find them so revealing ! Hapless is indeed an interesting one.

    Merci pour le “Bonne Rentrée” et vous aussi!

    -Brad

  • http://www.tesoltraining.co.uk/blog/is-empathy-the-no1-characteristic-of-a-great-english-teacher/ Is empathy the no1 characteristic of a great English teacher?

    [...] the legendary, Brad Patterson has had some great posts on the nature of English teaching (becoming a happier teacher by letting go, a quote that defines your teaching & why you became a teacher in the first place) which you [...]

  • sibel

    “Concentrate on the strength rather than the weakness” is what I’d suggest to add. Lately I discovered that as a teacher or a coach I was concentrating on correcting people’s mistakes or commenting on their weak points. But that doesn’t help much for the encouragement. Especially when one is concerned in any creative activity like designing, writing, performing, etc. our insecurities are our major blocks most of the time. Correction might also be necessary but if we are really willing to make any progress with the people we’re working with, i guess our priority should be to encourage them rather than attracting their attention to what they did wrong. So I am reminding myself every now and then to emphasize the strong point first and encourage them to make mistakes so that their authenticity would come out.

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Great point, Sibel, and I agree wholeheartedly both for our own personal work as teachers— concentrating and enflowering our strengths, just as it applies to how we can encourage students as you’ve mentioned.

    And yet… it isn’t easy, is it? We have grown up in an often correction-oriented educational environment, especially with languages. Hmmm… i’m adding your comment on my ‘things to remind myself’ list!

    Cheers, Brad

  • http://blog.edulang.com/ Brad Patterson

    Great point, Sibel, and I agree wholeheartedly both for our own personal work as teachers— concentrating and enflowering our strengths, just as it applies to how we can encourage students as you’ve mentioned.

    And yet… it isn’t easy, is it? We have grown up in an often correction-oriented educational environment, especially with languages. Hmmm… i’m adding your comment on my ‘things to remind myself’ list!

    Cheers, Brad

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  • J.R. McGinnity

    Accept the fact that you won’t be able to treat all students equally.

    We’re increasingly taught and told to treat all students equally and give them all equal chances to show what they know in a variety of ways (ahhH equality and differentiation). Accept the fact that, as a human being, this is nearly impossible to do. Humans aren’t designed to label different things as “equal” across the board (and each and every student is a different “thing” compared to the others) and 1 person making 30 differentiated assignments (or 50 or 100) is a ridiculous expectation.

    Instead, let go of the guilt about not treating all of your students equally. Without that guilt you will be a happier teacher, and without that guilt you will be more positive and deal with your students more fairly across the board.

    Try to treat all students as equals, but if you can’t (I sure as heck can’t!) accept that shortcoming and move on. There are so many better things to worry about!!!