An African proverb goes, “Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” I am inspired by this line of thought that I view challenges as opportunities for growth.
Teaching is already a very challenging profession. But I still want to get through the question: How do I challenge myself and my teaching?
With my years in teaching, I always believe that there is something in this profession that can make me better. And I am referring to the inevitable changes that bring about great challenges.
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How do I challenge myself and my teaching?
I am pleased to share with you the 12 best ways of challenging myself and my teaching. It is with great hope that through the following schemes, you’ll also embrace challenges and become the best teacher that students need.
1. I say yes!
How do I challenge myself and my teaching? Well, I take risks. I say yes to challenges and get out of my comfort zone.
For me, there is growth in chasing challenges. The challenges in teaching are never-ending. A perfect example of this is the sudden shift in education that brings about uncertainties and doubts.
When schools opted for online learning, I felt overwhelmed. However, I took the risk and accepted the challenges in the new normal.
No matter how difficult, I did my best and I continue to give my students, meaningful learning experiences even at a distance.
For me, the present situation in education is never a reason to stop and to dwell on the negativity of things. In particular, online teaching is a challenge, but I do it anyway!
2. I never stop learning.
How do I challenge myself and my teaching?
I learn daily. It’s how I prepare myself to meet the challenges effectively. I give myself a push! I make an effort to improve my knowledge and skills even though I have enough about teaching. As for me, teaching is learning.
Every teaching and learning in the classroom is an opportunity for me to learn as well. Likewise, I study more. It just doesn’t mean pursuing my post-graduate studies, but it’s about delving deeper into the content I teach.
I do research and I explore the curriculum. As a result of my eagerness to learn, no one of my students is left behind. Because of my effort to give them the best, they become engaged learners who also aim for success.
Owing to my best interest to teach, I enrich the curriculum to spark motivation in my students through effective instructional delivery. Also, my being well-prepared impacts student performance and achievement.
3. I aim for more!
How do I challenge myself and my teaching?
I don’t settle for less.
I don’t aim for perfection though. I just aim for more substantial student achievement. As I do it, of course, I do everything under my power to be an effective and efficient teacher. And it has always been a challenge to be one!
When you aim for more, you need all the ingredients to maintain your motivation! And it’s another challenge! But I still love aiming for more!
The successes of my students are my happiness. Hence, I always aim for more teaching and learning opportunities by making a productive learning environment for my students.
4. I prioritize my passion!
Doing this means giving high-quality learning to my students. Even though I have my personal goals, I play balance with my professional growth too. Equipping myself with new teaching strategies is my way of keeping the passion to teach burning.
Prior to becoming a professional teacher, I conditioned my thoughts that teaching is never an easy ride. However, I also set a mantra that nothing is impossible for a passionate soul. Thus, I prioritize my passion.
Passionate teachers increase student engagement. Hence, I believe in my passion and I always desire to make a difference in the lives of my students. Likewise, the successes of my students deepen my passion to teach.
Significantly, passionate teachers are always excited to teach.
5. I teach more!
As a teacher, I am aware of my role in education. Hence, I challenge myself to teach more.
Teachers help mold the future of children. As the spine of society, teachers create other professionals and community leaders. Accordingly, I am greatly inspired by this role that I accepted the challenge.
My ability and my indomitable will to create a meaningful impact on the students are some of my best ways to challenge myself and my teaching.
I teach more to inspire future generations of citizens. Besides, I always keep in mind how important is the teaching profession in designing a progressive society.
6. I say no!
To be more effective and productive, I know where the stop signages in education are located. Yes, I am a committed teacher, but it doesn’t mean I’ll be killing myself by drowning in work that goes beyond my limits.
Thus, I learn to say no! Especially, if the matters at hand are not directly connected to increasing student achievement. It’s good that I have this principle because I avoid teacher burnout and stress.
Like, when someone asks me to craft a narrative report of an event that I hadn’t attended and just have to base the narration on a mere story, well, I say no very politely but decisively.
Remember, if stress reigns in your being, you can become very incompetent. It affects your performance as well as that of your students.
Therefore, I have developed my skill of saying no to challenge myself and my teaching. I am generally an optimistic person, but I don’t allow myself to be weighed down with loads of responsibilities and unreasonable ancillary work because I really want to focus on teaching.
7. I make conscious efforts.
As a teacher, I feel empowered doing my roles if I extend my conscious efforts. An instance of lesson delivery, I make sure that I meet my students’ varied learning needs.
Generalizing a lesson is awful. Doing so is a sign of disrespect to individual differences. That is why I always challenge myself to give the best instructional delivery that gives my students equal learning opportunities.
I lengthen and strengthen my efforts in this matter to challenge myself and my teaching.
8. I express my thoughts!
I have a voice. When I feel expressing my thoughts before a group of people, I do it. I know it can be very intimidating at first, especially if you’re persuading your superiors. I was having goosebumps when I did it at first. It’s just like having an oral recitation with the most terror professor in college.
But I conquered my fears and I tried doing it. I wasn’t bitten nor beaten for sharing my views.
Even if it means contradicting others, as long as you have profound support for your claim, it’s never wrong to say your piece.
9. I try new things!
I grow with new parameters! I get out of my comfort zone.
As they say, there’s no one size fits all strategy in teaching. Hence, I delve for more and learn adaptive teaching pedagogy to give my students quality learning.
Stepping away from the usual teaching rut has been just like welcoming new ideas for progress and innovation. It’s the most practical way of getting away from stagnant content and strategies.
Certainly, this strategy enables me to present lessons creatively that keep students excited.
However, learning new things is also overpowering but if you are excited to adopt new switches in teaching and learning, you can easily challenge yourself and your teaching.
10. I love teaching!
I challenge myself to become an effective and efficient teacher by loving the profession itself. It’s easier for me to fulfill my roles if I’m doing it from the heart.
Teaching is not just a job but a mission. Likewise, teaching from the heart is a demonstration of my sincerity and love to inspire students to be the best that they can be.
As for me, teaching is more than a profession to take. It’s about creating dreams and inspirations and shaping the future of the children.
11. I reinvent teaching.
I am engaged in teaching and it’s a significant satisfaction of my life to increase my efficacy as a teacher. As I pose myself to make a difference, I do my best to empower student learning by reinventing my teaching.
Meeting the educational needs of my students has been my priority as a teacher; therefore, I make sure that I meet the requirements of the rapidly changing educational system. This is to ensure that my students gain deeper learning experiences with me.
However, it doesn’t mean to junk the traditional ways of teaching, for I still use the powerful chalk when discussing super complicated grammar rules! I just reinvent by means of adding more teaching pedagogies and that includes the use of ICT or technology in teaching.
Reinventing my teaching is transforming my skills to foster the skills and capacities of my students with life skills so they become ready for the future.
12. I love my students even more!
The students are the center of the educative process. Teaching is all about them. And to meet the social and emotional needs of children, love has a great role!
There will be unpredictable combinations of failures and successes in the classroom where students also experience low and high moments, respectively. But with the love of the teacher, the healing atmosphere for downtrodden emotions unbelievably pacifies the complex scenario.
Interacting with my students work wonders. I come to know more about them and understand their behavior. Thus, this way also helps me in my behavior management strategies which has a great effect on student performance.
Taking the challenge of teaching as a mission is very fulfilling. In the same way, producing great results is a challenge every teacher face that establishes a significant impact in promoting greater equity and quality in education.
Teaching involves a long haul of processes that contribute to the bright future of the child. It conforms to the norms of the society of what is good and desirable. Hence, every teacher is challenged in keeping up with the mission and vision of the school.
Now that I have presented my best ways of challenging myself and my teaching, allow me to explore your thoughts on how you challenge yourself as a teacher.
How do you challenge yourself as a teacher?