Educator, Know Thy Self!

Who Are You?

Who are you as a teacher? Right now, assess if you are cool and popular, or not. If you are a cool and popular teacher, good, but you may want to keep reading to make sure. If you think you may not be a cool and popular teacher, or you KNOW you are not, then keep reading, and you will get plenty of helpful tips to help change all of that.

Who you are defines how you will react to all students. As a teacher, your personality will also define how you react to all students. If your beliefs are so that you dislike a certain group of students, then it will show up when you have to deal with those students. You can’t hide from the truth. I am not saying that you should agree with everything, but you have to be accepting of the diversity of students you will have to interact with.

One of the worst things I have heard a teacher say is that all they want to do is “work with the good kids.” No shit, really? You only want to work with the kids doing everything you ask, at every moment, and do it enthusiastically? Well, I guess you don’t want to teach kids. Teenagers are the complete opposite. They are here to discover and decide. They will test the wall, and be strange. They will go against your valuable advice and directives, just like you did as a teen.

You have to work on being accepting of all students because they are changing just like those before them. They are trying to figure out the world and how they fit. They are all going through the same things every human on the planet goes through during their teen years.

Who you are will define if you stand up for, and support, your students. I believe that teachers have a duty to stand up for students. As gunmen enter schools, regularly as is the case lately, I am amazed at how teachers will stand up to these sure-death moments to protect the kids. Now, not every teacher needs to go through that to prove they are worthy, but check out your daily habits. Are you seeing each student in the best light?

In my class, you really had to prove you were an asshole of a kid before I would believe it. Over a thirteen year period, there were about five students total that really proved they were just going to be that type of person. I think that is a good ratio. Of the hundreds of kids, there was only a handful I would consider “too much” for me to handle. I did have some that were committed to testing my limits, but I always gave them another shot.

When it comes to delivering the best education to your students, you have to stand up for them. This is a daunting task with very little, monetary rewards. But you are rewarded by knowing you are at the forefront of creating and influencing excellent citizens.

Support comes in all forms, but students have told me they just need to feel that someone cares about them outside of their house. This amazed me, as many students shared that the care of a “stranger” became a trusted adult and made them feel like the world isn’t as bad as the news may show.

Who you are will define if you treat all students fairly, even when they don’t deserve it. On those days when they really work to break your spirit with any and every antic, you still have to treat them fairly. These can be the hardest of days, but I believe that the popular teachers know these days are coming, so they are not surprised. I am often amazed that teachers are surprised their kids will act imperfectly. However, how you approach all situations will help your days go better.

This is part of a chapter from my book Rock The Crowd: How The Cool Teachers Inspire More Students, Earn More Respect, and Become Lifelong Mentors. Every Wednesday and Friday (Starting April 8, 2014) I will share parts of every chapter. Don’t forget that the shares from my first book Learning Curve are on Monday and Thursday.

Is there anything better for students than being in the class of the cool teacher? When it comes to being a teenage student, and being forced to attend school, there is nothing better than a class where the teacher is passionate about education. How do these popular teachers continue to be the sparkle in the eyes of so many children, while there are others that can’t get them to pay attention? Rock the Crowd shares the methods of those teachers that are considered cool by students, while maintaining the best relationships for valuable learning to take place. For the “cool teacher,” the front of their classroom is their stage, and every day, for hours, they give the greatest performance their students have seen to date. The crowd-rocker teaches with passion and convictions that inspire real student connections and learning that last a lifetime. These teachers are popular, year after year, while others are still struggling to learn how to relate to the students. In Rock the Crowd, I share all the things cool teachers do that make them successful in working with, and producing, successful and long lasting, learning-centered relationships. Rock the Crowd is great for teachers who are struggling to find their teaching groove and to reenergize those that are already grooving.

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