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Educator Shares Mistakes as First Year Teacher

Educator Shares Mistakes as First Year Teacher

Educator Robyn Jackson is encouraging educators to share advice on first year mistakes that lead to growth in the teaching profession as she shares her own. 

"I argue that learning from mistakes can be a powerful way of helping students learn. But the value in learning mistakes isn’t just limited to our students. As professionals, we need to learn from our mistakes as well," Jackson said in a ASCD'S EDge blog post.

Jackson admits that when she first started teaching, she was prone to taking things personally. When kids acted out, refused to listen or defied her orders, she would take it as a personal attack.

"The problem with taking things personally is that it usually leads to blaming the students. The moment I realized that it wasn’t about me, I was able to to shift my focus from how offended I was to what I needed to do to help my students make better decisions the next time," she said.

She also admits she avoided dealing with parents in an effort to avoid confrontation but soon learned the importance of open parent-teacher communication for the benefit of her classroom.

Further, she said that one of the greatest mistakes she learned from in her first year was not waiting for students to fail to help but rather developing a proactive intervention plan to determine what students were falling behind before interim grades made it too late to get grades up before the marking period was over.

She learned that stressing to cover the entire curriculum did more harm than good, and that even as a teacher, mistakes were bound to happen.

"I thought that as the teacher, I always had to be right. I worked really hard at being the smartest person in the room. When my students asked me a question for which I had no answer, I’d make one up. If I made a mistake, I would cover it up. Only when I gave myself permission to be, well, human, did my teaching get really good," she admits.

To read more about how Jackson has grown as a teacher, click here. Comment below to discuss your own.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

06/02/2015

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