In Education, Evolution is Necessary

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As the school year ends, Victorious Hall measures his accomplishments.

The end of the school year is filled with a litany of checklist items for teachers — laptops and LCD projectors must be accounted for, grades and final reports must be submitted, and our classrooms must be in order before we can leave for the summer.

In addition to my school’s checklist, I have my own internal list in which I reflect upon the impact, growth and shortcomings I’ve had throughout the school year.

Celebrate your accomplishments

The education field is sometimes loaded with deadlines, benchmarks and impossible goals. These overwhelming demands weigh heavily on teachers, so it is vital that we celebrate our accomplishments.

Did you help a student feel more confident in an academic subject? Did you build strong relationships with your students? Have you worked to improve ? Did you lead any special extracurricular activities? Pat yourself on the back. Knowing your worth will help you weather the tough times.

Internalize your shortcomings

We all make mistakes, but to grown in our respective fields, we must acknowledge our shortcomings. We teach our youth that when mistakes are made, they should learn from them and change their behavior. So as an educator, think about the mistakes you’ve made this year. Did you speak too negatively about your students and parents? Did you fail to plan impactful lessons each day? Did you have a good relationship with your supervisor or coworkers? Did you raise your voice a little too often? Focus, internalize and repair.

Envision a better you

Singer Lauryn Hill once said, “anything not growing is dead.” As we closeout this school year, we should think about how to improve our practice for next school year. You should have clear and measurable goals for yourself. For instance, I need to return graded papers to my students in a timely manner. While I’m not quite there, I am clear on the expectations I set for myself.

You may want to respond to parents in a timely manner. Or maybe you want to make it to school on time and greet your students with a smile and a hug. You may want to create a more efficient grading system that gives you more personal time. Be sure to visualize a better you.

As educators, we must evolve. We must be shining examples of growth because that is what we want for students. Let’s not be afraid to celebrate our accomplishments, acknowledge our shortcomings, and plan for a better future. Our youth must excel.