To intrigue, inspire and support educational change for increased student engagement and achievement.
As a consultant, in my third year of the position, as well as an aspiring leader, my goal is to support teachers as they continue learning, improving their practice and inspiring student growth.
There are many teachers I have the pleasure of working with who have their own views, learnings and understanding about the ever changing world we live in. However, there are many others who have not yet realized the importance of changing their teaching and learning goals to align with not only the current needs of students in the 21st century, let alone those 5 years or more down the line.
The “intrigue” part of my mantra is there to find ways to share this message with teachers who have not yet realized how important it is to provide our students the opportunities, skills and abilities that they will need to be successful in the world today. I’m always looking for interesting stories and examples of the requirements that students need in today’s workforce. Intriguing teachers is the first step to make them aware of the change that is needed and the positive ways they can adjust their practices to influence student learning.
The “inspiration” part of my mantra is the bigger picture, to help teachers realize the importance of adjusting our beliefs, practices and learning goals for increased student engagement and achievement that aligns with student needs. This part includes finding creative ways to help them adjust their practice and thinking that won’t be overwhelming and discouraging.
The “support” part of the mantra is necessary as change is difficult, hard to accept at times and in some cases, very difficult to tackle. Being a support system for the teachers I work with as they move forward to improve their practice, to align their teaching and learning styles to the needs of students now is essential to the success of the change. Teachers need to feel like they have someone they can share their frustrations with, who doesn’t judge, but listens to their fears, who helps brainstorm solutions and who accepts the difficult journey that they are on. On the other hand, teachers need someone who they can share their successes, their joy and their excitement for continued learning and change.
As a former guidance counselor and student success teacher, individual student success is of utmost importance to me. Not all students are the same, everyone has different strengths, abilities, challenges and needs. I value an educational system that accepts the varied needs of our students and celebrates each individual for their growth and accomplishments. Engaged students are students who show up, who try their best, who learn. Student achievement, which varies for each individual student, increases significantly when each individual student feels valued, respected and part of the school community. Student achievement to me is the internal value of success, not the mark the student achieves that determines their continued success on the road of life.
Proof of educational success to me is simply creating confident, contributing members of society who have gained the skills and abilities to succeed on their chosen pathway. As I continue in my consultant role, my job is to continue to intrigue, inspire and support teachers to help create the educational environments where all students can succeed.
What is your Mantra for the 2016-2017 school year? Share your thinking on Twitter #blogamonth challenge!