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Do you ever have those moments when you look back at the person you were a few years ago and cringe a little bit? It can’t be just us…
It’s amazing how much we grow without even realising or necessarily trying.
Personal development and professional development go hand in hand for teachers. Not only does personal growth make us more effective as teachers, it also makes us more resilient people and more effective leaders.
Every day is an opportunity for personal growth. All it takes is a little introspection, some critical evaluation, and a pinch of experimentation. These are our secret seven questions for personal growth that help us to look back at who we were and how far we’ve come with pride instead of embarrassment!
Stay in check with your personal development with these 7 questions.
The biggest question first! We’re not talking about kids passing NAPLAN tests (I don’t think that’s the reason anyone became a teacher!) but your personal motivation for wanting to be a teacher. Even on the hard days think about what kind of teacher you always wanted to be. During some of the crazy times you can forget your reason why you wanted to be this amazing teacher!
Like Eleanor Roosevelt famously said: “do one thing every day that scares you”. Getting out of your comfort zone is an essential ingredient in personal growth. Go ahead, trust your gut and try something new! Sometimes the best lessons come from this! Also showing your students that you are willing to take challenges can show them they can be fearless with their learning and take that leap too!
Learning and personal growth aren’t the exact same thing, but they’re closely tied. Lifelong learning is one of the (many) skills that drives personal growth. Even if a lesson went fabulously or did not go as planned (we have all have those happen!) what did you learn from it and how would you do that lesson differently next time? That’s the great thing about being a teacher we are always learning new behaviour management skills, new ways to engage a learner and new ways to have fun with our students.
Everyone has a unique skill. Identify yours, find ways to use it in your class, and share it with other teachers. Are you creative, or a great storyteller? Your talent can be a huge professional asset. Find yours and make sure you are utilising that ‘special talent’. There is nothing better than being able to swap ideas and skills with the teacher next door to make not only your life easier but the student’s day more fun and interesting!
What do they need to become well-rounded humans as well as effective learners? Here’s a tip: ask them. They might tell you, or they might not. Either way they know you’ll listen when they’re ready. And we all know sometimes what students need most is *not* the academic stuff!
Open dialogue is crucial in the student-parent-teacher learning triangle, and for personal growth to express your needs and wants. Sound familiar? There’s a good chance you’re encouraging your kids to do the same thing. Do you need to work on providing more meaningful feedback to your students, voicing your opinions at staff meetings or having more open truthful discussions with parents? These things can create a more supportive environment for everyone!
Personal development means looking for new ways to inspire our kids and, little by little, become better teachers every day. Even a small action or moment of reflective thought every day can help your journey.
Keeping a journal can be a great way to reflect on these 7 personal growth tips every day… and we have about 3,000 notebooks because writing in a pretty notebook is obviously essential ha! What are your go-to growth strategies? Join the convo to let us know!