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Fired Up Teachership

Surround yourself with people who cheer you on and lift you higher!

Michele Hill | @HillMrispo
May 26,  2021
Perspectives

What if someone could save you countless hours of learning about the teaching profession by trial and error? That would be pretty cool, right? Well, we want to help new teachers and pre-service teachers become master teachers well before the normal timeline. We want you to be fired up as you enter the profession and stay fired up right until the very moment that you leave. We want all teachers, everywhere, to love what they do, share their gifts with their students and the school community, and leave behind a legacy of being a changemaker!

Celebrate the impact and imprint that you have made on the world, one student at a time.–Michele Hill

When you decided to become a teacher, you probably never thought about your legacy but you had to decide the type of teacher you wanted to become. Flashback to why you became a teacher in the first place. It is the only career where you can truly make a positive difference every day. Approach your career that way. As you become a master teacher, be cognizant that  you are also becoming a great influencer. Your legacy starts the first day you arrive in your classroom.

Imagine that you can start every day with multiple gifts. Your most precious gifts, in your role as a teacher, are sitting in the front row of your classroom. They are the reason that you come to work everyday–or at least we hope that they are. Your students are depending on you to bring the magic, the sparks and your passion as an educator.

If your students feel your love and passion, they will respond in ways that will ignite change in their perception of the world. It is the first step to becoming a  great ‘Difference Maker.” As you start your journey or continue your path, you have to make a choice. Do you just want to teach or do you want to pursue a path to Fired Up Teachership?

Teachership is not a moment, it’s a movement. It’s the ability of a teacher to embrace the leader that lives within them without leaving teaching behind. It allows a passionate educator to have the best of both worlds by leading in and out of the classroom. Teachership is not a position or a title, heck it’s not even a  real word that you can find in an old Webster’s dictionary, it’s the mind-set of reaching your best potential as an educator. It’s about digging deep into your soul and finding the very best teacher you can be for your students and yourself, and calling her/him to come forward. Throughout our combined 70 years of education experience, we have discovered that great teachers know a thing or two about building a solid platform in the areas of personal growth, making connections,developing routines and procedures– and ultimately making an impact in their school community. We want to share some of those secrets with you so that you can join the movement and stay fired up!

When you love what you do, it’s easy to get fired up everyday
When you love what you do, it’s easy to get fired up every day

He who has a why can endure any how–Frederick Nietzche

Most educators can pinpoint the reason that they wanted to become an educator. Passionate educators come alive when they talk about their students; it’s palpable. Honestly, our hearts beat a little faster and our smiles widen as we tell you all about our students. Why? Because they are, first and foremost, the #1 “why’ that we got into education. If you are in a hurry, don’t ask a teacher about “their kids” because you are bound to be there for a while. We felt a very strong magnetic pull to enter a field where we could help students grow and learn, and more importantly, become good people. At least that is our greatest hope.

Identifying ‘your why’ is as simple as asking yourself the following questions:

1. What do we do?

2. How do we do it?

3. For whom do we do it?

4. Why do we do it? What value are we bringing?

5. What will be my legacy as a teacher?

Strategic planning to build a strong school community
Strategic planning to build a strong school community

Being a teacher is about sharing your strengths with others and hoping to inspire them in a positive way. It’s about doing GOOD work with a sense of purpose– and it’s about your legacy.  How you will measure your life? What impact will you have had on other educators– and most importantly, your students? This is “your why!”

No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship. – Dr. James Comer

If your students know that you care about them and you love them, they will be committed to their success. They will not want to let you down. Making connections builds capacity in your relationships.Traditions and culture take time to build and it can become a positive way of life. Not everything appeals to everyone. You build anyway. We can remember the rough roads as well. Relationships are the foundation upon which everything else is built. Take the time to build positive relationships through attending extra curricular events, advising or coaching a club or sport, attending community events,or hosting a lunch bunch with your students, your colleagues and the entire school community. This one thing is critical to the success of all educators and you know it! Think back to your favorite teachers. What made them stand out as such is the relationship that they built with their students–you.

They may forget what you taught them, but they will never forget how you made them feel!
They may forget what you taught them, but they will never forget how you made them feel!

Our ability to reach unity in diversity will be the beauty and the test of our civilization–Mahatma Gandhi

Ensuring that everyone gets what they need to be successful is certainly different than giving everyone the same things. Everyone’s starting point is different. Our students come to us with diverse backgrounds, their availability of resources, their unique cultures and different family dynamics, so it would only be reasonable for us to assume that if we want our students to reach the same benchmarks for success, we will need to support students differently. Creating a culturally responsive classroom and school environment is paramount for ensuring that all students have an opportunity to succeed. EVERY student should feel a strong sense of belonging to your school and in your classroom.

Happy people outperform unhappy people.
Happy people outperform unhappy people.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with– Jim Rohn

A seasoned English teacher that I knew would often remind the students, “If you lay with dogs, you get fleas.” That was probably not the nicest way to remind them  that they should be mindful of the company that you keep, but hey, he was also the football coach–and they got the message loud and clear. Motivational speaker, Jim Rohn, famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Take a minute and let that sink in. Who are the five people at your school that you spend the most time with? What qualities do they possess? Are they helping to lift you and the profession of teaching up or down? Surround yourself with other passionate people who are committed to creating the best education environment possible.

We are what we repeatedly do, excellence  is not an act but a habit–Aristotle

When people know what to expect, they are less anxious and more likely to be amicable to the rules and regulations of the institution. The classroom is certainly no different. The need for established routines in a classroom is so important that they have made it a key component of teacher evaluations. When your students walk through the door of your classroom, they should know what to do immediately, not left wondering what’s happening and giving them an opportunity to negatively impact the learning environment.

A successful classroom requires finesse. It is a combination of great instruction, positive relationships, set boundaries (with consistent consequences) and being firm & fair with all of the students in your classroom. Routines, procedures  and engaging lessons, with positive reinforcement, are essential to creating a space for learning, however without a teacher who is firm, fair and consistent, there will likely be issues. How you lead your class is paramount. Take the time to build teachership skills in your classroom–it will pay off for years to come!

Your legacy begins day one!
Your legacy begins day one!

Teachership is a choice, one that needs to be made each and every day. The teacher-leader that you are, or will become, will profoundly impact your life and the lives of your students. The choice to become a teacher leader begins with YOU.

We are excited to inspire, motivate and cheer-on teachers everywhere! Look for Fired-up Teachership soon! This book is a must read for teachers who want to become a master educator by staying fired up throughout their career and impacting countless lives.

Michele Hill is a passionate educator who serves as a Coordinator of Admissions and Communications at Burlington County Institute of Technology. Throughout her career as an educator, Michele has been a champion for struggling and impoverished students.In her new role, Michele strategically markets and brands BCIT to attract and retain students and staff and highlight the amazing things happening in the school district. Michele has been a guest blogger for ASCD Inservice, McGraw Hill, Principal Leadership, Teacher Tool Kit UK, Edweek and ASCD Road Tested.

Frank Rudnesky is the author of Fired Up Leadership and 50 Great Things Leaders Do: Let’s Get Fired Up along with numerous articles published in the areas of leadership and technology influence. He draws on his experience as an accomplished teacher, award-winning middle school principal, and transformational leader to deliver his captivating keynotes and presentations to hundreds of audiences. As you listen to Dr. R.’s style of storytelling and his unconventional journey in life, it will get you “Fired Up” to pursue your passion and empower others to find their passion.

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