One of the ways cool and popular teachers become that way is because they know what it is like to be liked. They are operating from a knowing. Many times, especially in education, we operate from an unknowing. We want everyone to feel bad so they know how it feels when they hurt someone else. Popular teachers don’t operate like that. Their self-esteem is high enough that they rarely care if they are popular, so it is easier to be liked. Those teachers trying too hard to be liked, and I know it may shock you that they exist, are falling short. It’s kind of like dieting: if you try really hard, you usually fail, but if you just accept certain things, then all the fight against a force is removed.
Popular teachers enjoy themselves. No matter the size or shape, they enjoy who they are as people in the profession. One thing I always notice about the popular teachers is that they really like who they are, flaws and all. There are times when these people are almost shocked others don’t enjoy life more. The approach of these teachers is to be joyful, knowing that in the end, they could take their joy someplace else if things got too bad. They have a confidence that some of their peers dislike because they seem so happy all the time. Their students will ask why they are happy all the time. They come up with happy sayings that are corny, but memorable. Their happiness and self-enjoyment create a divide with their peers; they are either liked or not. Very few people are middle-of-the-road with these enjoyable individuals.
By enjoying yourself, you see education as a process. Enjoyment leads to smiles, and smiles lead to a better understanding of the wants and needs of your students. It is very hard to be aware of your students’ needs when you are not in a place where you are enjoying life. For those struggling, this is one of the first places to start. Ask yourself: do I enjoy being around me? If you say “no,” or pause to answer, then you may realize others also find it tough to be around you. Switch that around and take a few moments each day to look at yourself, and place yourself in a new light. Approach it with an understanding that you are a work in progress, but you can have some wins now.
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.