Monday, May 27, 2013

Empowering our teachers


“Import illuminates the way to happiness”   
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi


 It’s Field Day Friday and everyone is happy at my school…because we have 13 days left before summer vacation. 
Are we excited about the everyday teachable moments that are to come in the next few weeks? 
No. 
Are we happy that we get to touch the future?
No.  
We are happy that we are getting away from it all very soon. 

Teaching school is laborious. Through state testing and unreal expectations, our “flow” state has been seized.  Creativity is no longer celebrated and we are daunted by the futility of keeping up with demands.  We are frustrated by the treadmill of rising expectations and feel out of control.  We are micromanaged, discouraged and drained.

 Dallas- we have a serious problem.     
When teachers tell you that they get a stomachache on Sunday evenings because they have to go to work the next morning- something is wrong!  When teachers tell you that they feel unsupported and unappreciated-that should not be ignored!   When teachers tell you that their emotional bank accounts are overdrawn- they will be walking out of your school soon!

 As a coach, I understand the importance of motivation.  My client and I first set clear and achievable goals together.   I then provide them with immediate feedback, letting them know where they are and how far they have come.   Coaches encourage so that the athlete feels strong, motivated and confident.  The athletes’ motivation soon becomes intrinsic as they discover what they are truly capable of.  In return many want to share that power and inspire others through their love of sport. 

Don’t we owe this kind of empowerment to our teachers?  Shouldn’t we make our external conditions match our goals?  Don’t teachers deserve to enjoy what they do and derive pleasure from coloring outside the lines?

Teachers deserve a good coach who motivates and uplifts them.  They deserve a strong sense of self, a passionate boss with a love for life and learning.  Teachers deserve more than time off to regain their power.  They deserve appreciation and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with changing one’s life.

I implore you to start celebrating the gifts that teachers share- because I promise that they are smart enough to search for their bliss in another profession.     

1 comment:

  1. That's why kindergarten terrifies me. I really don't understand why testing became so important and why we don't use mastery learning models in more schools. your students are lucky to have you, keep inspiring them. you inspire me to find my happy place.

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