Every teacher’s work throughout a school year is a journey. How that teacher begins this journey is equally as important as tasks to be completed each day. Beginning with a mindset of purpose, confidence, and expectation would make for a powerful start to the school year for experienced teachers.
Begin knowing you have a purpose.
Whether or not it was your choice, you are here in this place for a reason. You might have search high, low, and everywhere in between for a place to work outside of the classroom, or you might have chosen to teach for only one more year. Either way, you are still here.
That is because there is a purpose for you to be in the classroom each day, each hour, and each moment. Educating students is a predetermined expectation for every teacher. Outside of that professional objective, no one can pinpoint exactly what your purpose is. Purpose often transcends any preset professional objective. It includes inner personal growth.
Not knowing your purpose requires individual thought, reflection, and inquiry. It requires a sense of honesty with yourself. It also includes deep, leveled questioning that unearths truth. On the other hand, if you know your purpose for working in the classroom this year, go forth with verve to fulfill it!
Begin with confidence.
Confidence to carry out your purpose should set the tone for your work. No one can do what you were uniquely designed to do but you. Who knows—your voice and advice might be the only one that certain students value. Speaking into students’ lives is a privilege. Students come with their own opinions and challenging spirit towards the opinions of others. The fact that some students value what you have to say is an honor and indicates your purpose. Perform your purpose with confidence.
Begin with expectation.
Before setting expectations for your students, settle on at least one for yourself. This particular expectation should intentionally be personal and not solely professional. An expectation encourages personal reflection and growth. Expectations (goals), personal reflection, and growth are key ingredients of a productive life. To arrive at one or more expectations, consider asking yourself:
- What will I accomplish this year?
- How will I accomplish it?
- How might my life be enriched by this year’s work experience?
Answering one or more of these questions, and then enacting upon those answers with an expectation for positive results will not only ground you in your purpose, but it will also help to establish your confidence in the work you will do in your classrooms this year.