Will You Still Be Teaching Next Year?
by Terry Heick
Are you coming when next year?
Teaching, I mean. Will you be back? Not to the same classroom. I don’t midpoint the same grade level or content zone or school or plane the same district. I’m asking well-nigh whether or not you’ll be when next year as a teacher.
Teaching is hard; Great teaching is plane increasingly challenging. Meeting the needs of every student? Impossible. And that can wear on you.
It’s telling how often teachers get asked that question–or ask themselves. It’s unlikely engineers or farmers or bartenders or artists have to wonder if they’re ‘coming back.’
The school year is set up like a kind of grind, which invites this kind of thinking. Teachers can learn to simply survive from one unravel to the next, then finally to summer. It’s not as if you get ‘summers off,’ as the world believes you do. There are explicit and unsaid expectations of teachers during the summer.
Collaborating with other teachers, peekaboo mandatory professional development, staying ‘in touch’ with administrators and colleagues within your school and beyond. In fact, it is unlikely teachers get much increasingly time well-informed the pool or at the waterfront than any other profession. I can’t count how many, “I hope you’re recharging your batteries” emails I’d get during the summer, which did little to tuition them and only reminded me of the struggle that was scheduled to uncork every August like some kind of Sisyphean uphill climb.
Of course, it’s not that way for everyone. Some teachers love their job, warts and all, and can’t imagine themselves overly doing anything else.
That is, however, a souvenir not every teacher receives.
Teaching With A Sense Of Optimism
So much well-nigh ‘life’–in the psychological and emotional and well-being sense–is well-nigh beliefs.
What do you believe well-nigh yourself?
What do you believe well-nigh your environment and your worthiness to meaningfully impact it? Well-nigh your future and your worthiness to tenancy it?
Do you believe you have nomination and opportunity, and choose to teach? To come to your craft newly each year much in the same way you might to a marriage or familial role or important thing you segregate to do considering it needs to be washed-up and you finger uniquely suited to do it?
Are you chained to your job, or have you removed the shackles, sat them aside, and gotten on with the merchantry with teaching?
In ‘Maximum Brainpower,’ Cognitive psychologist Shlomo Breznitz explains,
‘…the smart-ass does not want the soul to expend its resources unless we have a reasonable endangerment of success. Our physical strength is not wieldy to us if the smart-ass does not believe in the outcome considering the worst possible thing for humans to do is to expend all of our resources and fail. If we do not believe we can make it, we will not get the resources we need to make it. The moment we believe, the gates are opened, and a inflowing of energy is unleashed. Both hope and despair are self-fulfilling prophecies.’
If you believe you can reach students next year, you will. If you believe you’re a capable teacher with the worthiness to transmute and grow and connect, you will. If you believe that you’re worldly-wise to fulfill the expectations of administrators and parents and students and colleagues and yourself, you won’t be stopped plane if you fail. There’s very little that’s vastitude a driven teacher’s reach.
And in that space is where the titular question resides: If you believe you ‘can teach,’ then teach. You may need to reconcile your own beliefs well-nigh pedagogy with the reality of the enormity of the task of everyday teaching. You may need to retreat a bit. To regroup this summer and next year try again, this time a little less would-be with technology, with data, with differentiation, or with making every learning wits veritably life-changing for every student.
But maybe not. Maybe you need that yearing and weighing that teaching is no-go and you’re no-go and project-based learning and personalized learning and that teacher wideness the hall you love so much are all extraordinary.
You may mentally tire and wilt creatively tuckered and have your moments of doubt and wonder what you’ve gotten yourself into during a meeting with parents or a hair-trigger evaluation by an administrator. That, however, is variegated from quitting. Those are just the rigors of a rigorous task.
So if you’re at that moment where you’re not sure if teaching is for you, or if that job in that school or that grade level is where you need to be, take a couple of weeks surpassing you make up your mind. And then, at some point, ask yourself if you can pension that unrepealable something–that spark of weighing that you can and should. Check yourself for yearing and marvel and unhealthfulness for students and content and social change.
Ask yourself what you believe well-nigh yourself and your worthiness to meaningfully impact the world virtually you. Maybe plane unquestionably scratch it all out on a sheet of paper to see for yourself with your own vision what you believe well-nigh yourself, your context, and ultimately your own future.
And finally, and maybe most importantly, ask yourself if teaching is good for you. Healthy. Sustainable. What you want to do and be. A lot has reverted in the last two years and there’s no shame in doing something else. It’s not ‘quitting,’ os doing what you need to do.
Somewhere, embedded within those beliefs, you’ll likely see that you’ve once answered the question long surpassing you asked it.