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BECOME A STRONGER TEACHER



Hi guys! Here are some pieces of advice to make your life as a teacher that little bit simpler. We'll focus on your mindset:



✅Don't compare yourself to others!


Maybe you're relatively new to teaching or you've been doing this awesome job for sometime but feel as if you should be in a higher position than you currently are. We often look up to others who are successful as a source of inspiration. There isn't anything wrong with that if that motivates you but you shouldn't let the success of others (even with regards to their level of English) make you feel inferior. That's when it gets dangerous. Comparing yourself to others can mislead you: we don't know the struggles or luck they had in achieving their position. Think about this: You see a businessman in an expensive Mercedes driving past you. He looks smart, rich and seems to be rolling in money. We might think: Lucky rich bastard. But what we might not know is that this driver is about to, on purpose, drive his car off a bridge. So don't compare yourself to other teachers, rather, compare yourself to who you were yesterday as a source of personal motivation.




✅ It's not the end of the world


Putting teaching into perspective is a good idea at times. We often associate such adjectives with our job: tough, draining, nerve-wracking, demanding, stressful etc. But we never use words like: dangerous, deadly, life-threatening, life-ending etc. When I had some flying lessons years ago I remember the instructor linking every mistake to death: "Paul, when the plane stalls, remember the rule: forwards you fly, backwards you die!" (referring to the direction I would have to push the yoke in case of a stall - nose down!). What could go wrong if you're performing brain surgery or defusing a bomb? What about having to deal with drugged up criminal gangs? If we teachers have a bad lesson (and we all do by the way), at least we can return to the following lesson with a second chance.




✅ Asking yourself loads of questions is not a sign of insanity

Why aren't the students doing this task correctly? Did I explain it well enough? Did I overdo it? Did they all hear me? Is the material dull? Did they have a tough day at school today? Should I change the program for today? Now we can go one step further: Do I come across as sincere? Am I getting in their faces? Am i projecting confidence or do I seem tired and maybe indifferent? How's my body language? Am I displaying positive non-verbal communication? I know I am stressed and have relationship problems but are they able to sense that? Am i giving off such vibes? Asking yourself such questions (not out aloud in class) is the first step to developing emotional intelligence and after sometime, because you are posing yourself these questions, you'll search for solutions. Then you develop something called: Empathy, which is a vital trait of a strong teacher. And then you'll never have to even think about behavior management ever again.



Don't expect immediate results

According to many practitioners and behavioral psychologists, one (out of many) signs of mental strength is not to expect immediate results. Going to conferences, attending webinars, doing a CELTA, DELTA, or a PhD in being a perfect teacher are key components of our development. Learning all that info is the easy part. Putting them into practice and honing those skills takes time. A lotttttttttt of time! My friends, I can tell you that for the first three years of teaching career, despite having recognized formal qualifications, I was a shit teacher in every aspect! I quickly learned to stop aiming for perfection, I stopped aiming for a position I wished I was in and rather focused on the "here and now." My colleagues had been teaching for years. I hadn't. (I refer you back to point 1)

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