Happy Teacher Series: Be Brave

Four ways to be a brave teacher. The 3rd one just might be the most important!
Teachers as a whole are a brave bunch. How many people do you know that would voluntarily close themselves in a room with a whole lot of tiny humans? There's a reason teaching is a calling not just another job, because you have to really want it!

Part of being a teacher is the giving of ourselves for the sake of our students, and in that process sometimes we can lose ourselves. I am here today to tell you though that you can continue to be a brave, fierce person while still being an amazing teacher that puts your students first.

I wanted to share some ideas on how to be a brave teacher. Being brave can mean different things for different people. Personally, being brave is all about living life as my authentic self and being brave enough to make the choices that are best for me even when they aren't popular. What does being brave mean to you?

Remember Why You Became a Teacher

When you take a moment to think about why you became a teacher what do you think of? I am willing to bet that few are thinking, because I needed a job, and more of you are thinking along the lines of wanting to make a positive impact on the lives of your students. 

When you remember your students while making decisions it can help you to make a brave choice. By this I mean when you are faced with a decision between doing something that is the popular choice and something that will have a positive impact on your students, putting your students first helps you to swim upstream a bit. Putting students first isn't always easy, but it is always right. 

When you frame your thinking to always serve your students' interests first in the classroom you can make brave decisions more easily. 

Happy Teachers Teachers Make a Plan to be Brave

As teachers we inherently are planners, organizers, and general type-A people. That is not to say that every teacher fits this mold, but the majority do. As teachers we are used to making and carrying out plans from IEPs to field trips, but sometimes we fail to make a plan for ourselves. 

When you know that big decisions are coming up in your teaching life make a plan. By planning ahead you are able to think through your choices without the pressure of a deadline or your colleagues' opinions. 

Having a plan will help you to be brave and stick up for what you believe in. By having your thoughts together before approached by others you can solidify how you feel about a subject and have the facts or reasons to back it up. 

Happy Teacher Trust Their Teacher Gut

Just like moms have mother's intuition, we as teachers have a gut feeling that can lead us to make the decisions that will be most beneficial to our students. When you get that feeling down in the pit of your stomach trust it. 

Four ways to be a brave teacher. The 3rd one just might be the most important!As teachers we are in the trenches with our students all day. We know our students much better than admin who drops in or specialists that see our students for a limited time each day. If you feel a certain way about a decision being made that affects your students speak up! Your gut feelings on your students need to be trusted.

Happy Teachers Try Something New

Brave teachers know that we never stop growing as professionals. We grow every day in the classroom as well as through experiences in our own lives outside of school. It is vital that we continue to experience new opportunities in and out of the classroom that will help us become more well rounded people. 

When we experience environments that are different from what we know we are able to relate more to our students. This might mean trying a new cuisine that one of your students has recommended, taking a driving/walking tour of the neighborhoods that your students live in, or pursuing professional development in any area of growth. All of these experiences will provide you with the chance to learn something new, make brave choices, and grow. 

For more on professional growth check out this post

For more ideas on how to be a happier teacher read on at 11 Things Happy Teachers Don't Do


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