The classroom is a place where children flock to learn new things, and it can be a bit crazy sometimes. As a teacher, you must remain positive and strong-willed. Read along as the Arizona Educational Foundation’s 2016 Teacher of the Year, Christine Marsh, shares her wisdom on the topic of attitude and teaching. Christine Marsh is a teacher at Chaparral High School, and she passionately teaches 11th and 12th grade Advanced Placement English.
Attitude is very important when you are a teacher. It affects your students in many ways and can shape their learning experience. Marsh makes a good point when she talks about how intuitive students can be. “I have learned that teachers can’t really fool students, so it’s best not to try,” says Marsh. “Students can and do feel teacher’s moods and attitudes.”
As a teacher, you will sometimes experience stress that carries with you all the way home. Rather than dwelling on this, find positive ways to eliminate your stress. Complaining about how bad your day was won’t make the next day better. So, see what went wrong and try to turn it around. Did it upset you when your students didn’t do the reading? Were you frustrated with your kindergarteners because they were extra rowdy that day? Instead of focusing on what went wrong, prepare yourself for the next day, emotionally, mentally and physically.
In addition, an extra hour of sleep can significantly improve your mood as well as a few motivational words or a devotional reading. Also, don’t take it personally when your students don’t do the homework or when your students decide to talk over you. Staying cool, calm and collected will allow you to properly and clearly think of a reasonable solution rather than lashing out.
Marsh also helps us understand that it is okay to have a bad day once in a while. Teachers are just as human as their students, and can find it impossible to go a whole school year without having at least one bad day. Marsh advised that we be honest with our students.
“I usually just tell them about it. I’ll say ‘Look, folks, I’m having a rotten day, and I am grouchier than normal. I don’t plan on snapping at anyone, but if I do, that’s why.’ They’ll usually then ask why I am having a bad day, and if it’s not too personal, I’ll tell them very briefly.” It’s true that most students are very understanding when it comes to their teachers having a hard time.
Being a teacher is not for the faint of heart. It requires patience, preparedness, flexibility, an open mind and strength. It is a rewarding career, as it gives you the opportunity to change many lives for the better.
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