Teacher Preparation Opinion

Shall We Dance!!

By AAEE — September 20, 2016 3 min read
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I love to Dance. I mean I really LOVE DANCE. It is my first love, next to teaching of course. I love to watch dance. My favorite episodes of any television shows are always the one with a dance routine in it. There is no genre that I don’t love or that I am not willing to try. I’m a MTV Boomer (that’s something I just made up), so music videos with dancing in them are definitely my thing and I am not afraid trying the moves oute in my living room. My favorite part of dancing while I was growing up was performances and competition. I loved going to competition and performing. It gave me an adrenaline rush that I assume athletes get every time they hit the field. It’s the same feeling that I get from teaching, I think it is the pressure to be successful.

As a new teacher, you may feel a lot of pressure coming from all directions to achieve success. That pressure may be intrinsic or extrinsic. I remember when I graduated from college and started my career in education, I probably put the most pressure on myself. I was a third generation educator, with family members who exuded professionalism and purpose in a way that I felt I would never live up to. I was the only first year teacher that my principal hired that year, so I didn’t want to fall behind or misstep in front of everyone at the school.

I want to combine my two loves “TEACHING” and “DANCE” to help you make this year and every year the best one ever. So let’s WALTZ!!

Work Smarter, Not Harder: I’ve seen it too often when new teachers try to do too much. Don’t recreate the wheel if you don’t have to. New teachers often enter a school with the mindset that they are the most knowledgeable person in education and everyone whose been doing this job for the past 100 years are all inept. My first year teaching I gave so many assessments that I literally had to do Paper Grading Parties with my cousins who were in college, offering free pizza for them to help me grade papers each nine weeks. I thought giving 12 million assignments was the mark of a true educator.

Agility and Adaptability: You will learn fast that you need these two to really be successful and to not succumb to the stress of this profession. The ability to change direction at a moments notice is key. You will be teaching the best lesson of your life when the fire alarm come on and you have to vacate your classroom. This is the only time that they do fire drills, so be prepared. Change is life and you must be able to work with and through the changes that may come from different directions.

Listen to Learn: As a teacher we love to encourage our students to listen. Listen, Listen, Listen. We constantly tell our students to listen, but as a new teacher you may be missing many opportunities to learn and get better because you aren’t listening.

Talk: Did she just say listen and now she’s saying talk? Yes. Yes, I did. Talk to the other teachers and people on your campus. No man is an island and to be a successful educator you can not be one either. You don’t have to take everything you hear and I am not encouraging you to tell your personal business to everyone on the campus. I am telling you that the cordial “Good Morning” to your co-workers, parents, and school guest can really go a long way.

Zeal: Don’t let anyone take your excitement about this profession. It is the best profession in the world and it is truly the cornerstone of our society. Never let the “Negative Nancies” and “Sad Sams” take your joy of teaching away. You will have a few rough moments in your first year, but remember why you entered this profession and let that drive you to success.

Daphne Donaldson

Supervisor of Personnel Management

Certificaiton & Staffing - High Schools

East Baton Rouge Parish School System

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