Nov 1: What are the best aspects of being a teacher?
So I read Drive by Daniel Pink this summer, and he said work satisfaction comes with a combination of autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Although I’m feeling rather beat down at the moment (3:45 on a Monday afternoon), I have to admit I have those three magical ingredients in my job. Despite increasing demands from administration, I still have autonomy in how I teach my lessons, organize my class, and spend my planning time (other than required meetings). I love exercising creativity in planning new lessons, and finding ways to meet students’ needs.
Mastery: “A sense of progress, not just in our work, but our capabilities, contributes to our inner drive.”
“The trick is not to give tasks fitting a person’s exact capabilities, but to give them space and support to reach a little higher to foster improvement, continual mastery, and growth.”
Sounds a little like i+1 to me 🙂 Although I feel the quality of my teaching has greatly improved since three and four years ago, I am still pushing to get better – and the autonomy I have over my own classroom (and my fantastic PLN!) gives me the room I need to push towards that next level of teaching proficiency.
As for purpose? I make a difference in students’ lives, everyday. That’s all the purpose I need – and the reason I push on through the muck and the Mondays.
Nov 2: What is one small delight in the day that you always look forward to?
I started Laura Sexton’s Coros warm up activity last week – we listen to a song all week, and I teach my students the chorus. It’s quickly become one of my favorite activities. My kids are singing in Spanish – more than just the chorus. They’re asking for the song during other parts of class. They’re downloading them at home, and one student even downloaded Vivir mi vida before I taught it, after just a brief preview in class. The king of the rednecks even told me that he liked today’s song!!! And don’t get me started on the musical theater kids – you wouldn’t believe how much language they pick up from these songs, or how quickly they can sing the whole thing! It fills me up with joy to see my students willingly listening and singing to music in Spanish – it makes my heart smile.
Nov 3: What are you most proud of to date in your teaching career?
This question makes a number of students’ faces flash across my mind – the ones I connected with the most, the ones I was able to make feel special or important, the ones I could encourage when they were down, the ones who succeeded in Spanish even if they were barely passing their other classes – I feel proud of the moments when I have been able to build up students’ confidence and self-esteem, and show them their own great potential.