Be awesome with students: your only “back to school” goal

SMART goals, UBD, curriculum maps, PBL, etc… are fine. However, if you are an educator, regardless of how long you have been teaching, my advice is that you have ONE goal this school year. Pretty simple…be AWESOME with students. I don’t mean be really good or great… I mean be AWESOME with them. They need that more than anything else you will spend time on this school year. Kids need reality based, joyful, enthusiastic, supportive and passionate educators in their lives. If you are struggling with any of these words or not a lot of those words resonate with you I hope they will at some point this school year. If you already starting off the year dredding your time ahead, it’s going to have such a negative impact on students and your other colleagues.

I begin with 23rd year teaching in a public classroom this September. I love my job. No, I don’t love EVERYTHING about my job and that’s fine, because that is reality. However, I know that the most important role I can have is being happy, positive, joyful, supportive for kids and be contagiously enthusiastic about what I teach. If we are delivering that EVERY CLASS and EVERY DAY to students, that is what they will remember.

I know that few to no students have ever left my classroom saying “wow, that curriculum map was awesome!”. NO WAY. If you are happy, positive, joyful and supportive they are walking away saying “Wow, I love being in that class…” regardless of what you teach.

Being AWESOME with kids is as simple as these 5 things…

  1. Get to know their names and use their names often
  2. Find out what their passion is and check in with them about it
  3. Be present in your teaching. Really. Put your phone away until your prep or lunch time. Welcome kids in the door. Stand at the door, EVERY CLASS, EVERY DAY as they are leaving to tell them “Thanks for coming, have a good day”
  4. Talk with them and not at them.
  5. Have fun and laugh every class. Add some joy to their experience Everyone feels good about something if they are enjoying it

Be the teacher that you look back on and say “Wow, that person was AWESOME!” Kids deserve it.

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