13 Mar 2015

Here's a thought: How can teachers learn to feel more confident and empowered?

Welcome to my thoughts. Over the past few years I have read many books and researched the climate of teaching. I've discovered that teachers are just like most people forging a career in their chosen profession. There are many highs and lows, with challenges to overcome and fears to conquer. 

An increased pressure to know it all and do it all is now more prevalent in our society. You have to be multi skilled and know how to multi task. However, most of us have never been trained or taught how to do this or to face our fears when something arises that we’re not sure about.

There is constant change and information overload, not enough time to process it, understand the information and how to explain it to others.
It’s no wonder there are more teachers than ever taking stress leave, sick days and quitting the profession early.

It got me thinking.....

1. Often people put their own pressures on themselves to get things right the first time and to have total control. There is no room for error or flexibility and if it’s not done properly the stress builds up. Teachers should be encouraged to learn how to embrace challenges as opportunities for self reflection, growth and improvement but also to learn from mistakes.

2. Creating an environment where teachers are encouraged to share their concerns without fear, particularly if they are new to the profession and are on a huge learning curve, can alleviate stress and provide a sense of certainty. Often we don’t let on that we are struggling, for fear of people thinking less of us. Vulnerability is sometimes a curse as we hide it most of the time when it is a normal part of human nature, especially when we ourselves are learning.

3. Each area of the teaching profession should be cause for reflection and growth, not just focussing on what is wrong but also what we are doing well. Developing rapport and positive relationships with students, other teachers and parents is the most important place to start. The flow on effect from developing positive relationships is increased engagement in learning, improved behaviours and learning outcomes and a positive learning environment where everyone involved feels safe and has the opportunity to feel empowered and thrive.

4. Self reflection and understanding yourself is crucial in developing as a person and as a professional. The most successful people in the world have personal development coaches to help them work on their fears, doubts and any barriers that are preventing them from being the person they want to be in life and in business. Coaching and mentoring Principals and teachers not only helps them to grow personally but also in their professional approach to teaching and learning.

5. Identifying those areas that can be changed to improve confidence for teachers will help to improve the learning outcomes for children.
An awareness of self leads to acceptance, flexibility, a change of perception or self realisation and connection, providing the tools to improve the culture of the teaching profession, particularly self confidence in teaching. 

Understanding teachers and how to build their confidence in developing relationships is an important area I explore with school Principals, their staff as well as parents and children in learning communities. I have developed research programs, resources, present workshops and provide strategies for parents and teachers in the four key focus areas of relationships, partnerships in learning, community and leadership and communication - all crucial in improving learning outcomes for children. 

Our CLEAR strategy planning tool and development coaching can assist schools in using a strategic approach to self reflection and improvement of teacher confidence.

For more information Contact Rachel on 0419 371 876 to learn more about how Practically Learning can assist you in developing and inspiring a positive learning culture in your school to improve learning outcomes for children.

Weekly Perspective: 
“Adopt an attitude of flexibility. If there's one emotion to cultivate to guarantee success, it's the ability to change your approach. Throughout your life there will be situations you won't be able to control. Your ability to be flexible in your rules, the meaning you attach to things, and your actions will determine your long-term success or failure, not to mention your level of personal joy.”

Tony Robbins

Contact Rachel on 0419 371 876 to learn more about how Practically Learning can assist you in developing and inspiring a positive learning culture in your school to improve learning outcomes for children.

To subscribe to our 5 Thought Bubbles e-newsletter visit our website at www.practicallylearning.com.au and click on make contact.

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