I hear in classrooms all the time teachers doubting their ability to be good at what they do and then carrying that thought process to their children. It saddens me every day to hear this. I will listen to I can’t be a good teacher because I don’t know how or I can’t help my children learn because I don’t have the resources. Excuse after excuse teachers are telling their selves and others around them that they can ‘t do the job. If our teachers have this mindset, what about our children? What messages are we conveying to them? How are we helping them to flourish and grow if our teachers are saying they can’t?
It’s time to change that mindset. It is time to change the thought process of not just our children but our teachers that are going in and working hard every day to make a difference. We are never going to be able to change the field if we don’t start first with those that lead the work. It is time for you, yes you the teacher, the administrator, the business owner to think differently and instead of saying you can’t, say you CAN! Yes, I know that there are going to be things that are out of your control or that you may not be able to do right at that moment. But instead of saying you can’t, what about I may not be able to do this right at the moment, but I will work on the way to be able to do it tomorrow. With this mindset, we will then carry this on to our children.
There are going to be things that they can not yet do, but if they don’t try and keep at it they will carry on the CAN’T attitude when they need to have the CAN attitude. Only those that work closely and daily with our children are going to be able to change this mindset that we are so used too, because we have been taught to comply.
This last year I have seen so many disheartening words and actions against not just teachers, but with anyone that works in the educational field as well as the public service field. It has made me so sad to think that there are people that don’t respect the professions that are so meaningful and that we couldn’t live without. They are what makes America great. I think we have forgotten what really makes America a great nation and have focused too long on what can make our pockets bigger. It’s time for us to get back to reality and think about how we can make the future brighter not just for ourselves but for our children and those that need us most.
So work on getting rid of the word CAN’T out of your vocabulary and start saying you CAN! We as early educators have got to show the public that we do make a difference, and the only way of showing that is if we change the attitude in ourselves first. So instead of telling your kiddos that they can’t spell their name because they are too young or that they can’t do math because they don’t know how to count. Tell them that it’s ok. You may not be able to have this mastered today, but if you keep working at it, then tomorrow you can spell your name or count. It’s all about how you portray the message to yourself and then also to your kiddos. Be the Superhero that we all strive for and stop dwelling on what you think you can’t do and focus on how you can do the work! You will be amazed at how many admirers you will have when you show them that not only they CAN but that you CAN as well!
1. Work on your self first. If you are not happy with yourself or your profession, then you are not going to be able to change the environment in your classroom. Children feed off of your energy because you are who the trust. Try changing your negative habits into more positive ones. I know that it might sound crazy, but over the last few months, I had got in such a fog, and I didn’t feel like doing anything. I told myself that this had to change. Everything in my life was going down the drain because I couldn’t focus on what mattered to me. I started meditating for five minutes a day. Then I started listening to self-help books on an app while I got ready. There are many apps out there, but I like Story Shots. It’s free, and they give you short tidbits about what the book is about. Start working out, even if it’s just twenty minutes in the morning, get your body moving. I haven’t yet mastered this piece yet, but I’m working on it. I was listening to a book that said the tools that most millionaires use most is the 20/20/20 rule. They exercise for 20 minutes, they reflect and meditate for 20 minutes, then they organize their day and get everything situated to move forward for the day for 20 minutes. Now if you give yourself an extra hour in the morning to do all of this, then you are going to be able to focus on a better you.
2. Think more positively. If you think more positively daily, then that mindset will then carry on to your children. We get so wrapped up in the negative and dwell on things that hurt our day that we forget about what good is happening around us. Let it go. Come back to yourself and learn to put your mind in the present. There is no reason to cry over spilled milk when it can be easily cleaned up. If you start meditating, you are going to see that this can technique can be easily mastered when you learn to let things go. I use an app called simple habits. I knew nothing about meditating, and this app is great for the newbies as well as those that have done meditation for a long time. This is also a great way to help your children learn mindfulness. You may want to add meditation to your classroom. You will be amazed at how your children will enjoy the five minutes of quiet time and learning to connect to their selves. Make this a class goal as well as a personal goal. Here is a short video to do with your class on meditation.
3. Do a morning affirmation with your classroom every morning. Tell them how powerful they are, How kind and loving each one is and how they will change the world. Put affirmation in every center. Have children say these when you see they are down and help them build their self-worth. So many children need to hear these kind words because you never know what they hear at home.
One last thing. You are a great teacher! You are making a difference in every child’s life that is in your classroom, center, and community. If we want to change the way, then it starts with us. Listen to Ms. Rita Pierson as she explains Every Kid Needs a Champion!