To keep our Educator Fire burning I have observed three crucial embers that, when fanned, keep the fire flaming brightest. An educator who understands his mindset, has the ability to listen, and willingness to surround himself with others who are smarter will burn the brightest.
An article titled “Why Mindset Trumps Strategy Every Time,” in Entrepreneur Magazine caught my attention. As I began to read the author was making perfect sense – she was talking business. My business is Education – and it fit. She writes, “ I knew this about strategy; any strategy not informed by, and in alignment with, the prevailing mindset in the business will fail every single time.” Is this not true of the strategies we attempt in the classroom or at our school? What is successful for one is not so successful for another and that largely depends on the mindset of the one implementing the practice. As educators our classroom strategies should align with our Educator Mindset. Define your beliefs, habits, perspective, and ideas of learning, students, and your role in the classroom. Reflect on the strategies used in the classroom. Then set out to use those strategies that most align with your mindset. There are also seasons when our mindsets need to be reflected on, evaluated, and perhaps altered.
Continuous improvement requires constant dialogue. As you execute and try new things, keep listening. Ask your students what they need and how you can help. Ask them to share about the aspects they find challenging, rewarding, and difficult. Ask and listen. It is the wise teacher who has the ability to listen to students and hear their voice – an ember worth fanning.
The best of leaders know their weaknesses and surround themselves with those who are smarter and stronger in those areas. Fortunate educators have the beauty of working with teams or departments. Make the most of the time with your peers – you are a resource for one another. Begin to grow your personal professional development. I am a part of a community of educators on Twitter and Pinterest. I follow and learn from those smarter than me who tweet about #edu #edchat #edtech! Their tweets lead to posts and articles with a wealth of information; it’s one way I am being a constant learner. I also follow Education boards on Pinterest where I find ideas and useful tools to teach and guide my students in their discovery of my subject. Surround yourself and continue growing – an ember to never let die out.