To Have a Career in Education… You Gotta Keep Perspective…

Posted: July 17, 2012 in For Educators
Tags: , , , ,

You may be early in your career, or perhaps you haven’t even begun and you’re still in school or some other training program. So this is a great time to introduce you to some of the irrefutable realities of being a teacher. Every year, you will have new students. Every year you will meet new hard-working, wildly invested students who are organized, follow your lead and display wonderful manners. And every year, you will meet new students who will challenge your authority, try your patience, show a complete indifference to learning and make you re-evaluate your choice in profession.

Maintaining a longitudinal perspective that acknowledges that every year (perhaps for the next 30 or so years) will bring many of the same challenges, will allow you to stay more even-tempered and deliberate… and prevent “burn-out.”  If every year when you’re faced with new challenging students you find yourself shocked, over-whelmed and completely at a loss regarding what to do, you risk early exhaustion and regret. If you can get to a point early where you can say to yourself “I’ve dealt with similar situations or people before successfully” or “I know that over time, I’ll start to see changes”… you’ll be much more consistent in how you manage that student.

But maintaining perspective doesn’t just apply to your students. It’s also important for you to keep in mind that over the course of your career, you’ll also come across colleagues, assistant principals, principals and other faculty who you will not like as people, or appreciate as educators. You will come across systemic inefficiencies and unprofessionalism and even with these truths, you can absolutely stay committed to honoring your own standards. Maintaining perspective does not mean care less or “do nothing because it’s all happened before and it will happen again.” Maintaining perspective simply means “take things in stride, address the issue in the best ways you know how and don’t over-react.”  Giving up is never an option for educators and knowing how and when to voice your concerns or suggestions is a very important skill. So when (not if) you encounter similar frustrating students, faculty or situations that you’ve encountered before, don’t throw your hands up in disgust, simply remember what you’ve learned from previous experiences, honor your commitment, address the situation with skill and professionalism, and take a breath because it’s a wonderful career… and you want to keep enjoying it.

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