Have you ever felt your confidence take a hit? You’re cruising along thinking you got this when a shift in curriculum or some other snafu puts you into a confidence tailspin. For whatever reason, you begin to doubt your own abilities as a teacher, and you may feel inadequate or struggle with your confidence in your ability to teach.
With three three major changes thrown my way this year, I can completely relate! I had a new curriculum for math, was teaching science and social studies for the first time in a few years, and my school has a completely new administrative team. Oh yeah…I was teaching all different levels in math for the FIRST TIME. . .can you say “struggle”?
But that struggle is so common among us all that I think that is what it means to be a teacher. We have to get in the pit too. We’re made to innovate and change.
Because of my own determination (okay, “stubbornness”, but in the growth mindset community we call it perseverance) every week I would begin fresh with a new idea or strategy.
Every time one challenge would resolve, a new one would pop up. For example, as soon as I thought I mastered teaching one specific math skill, along came a new one to master.
I can happily say I’m not struggling any longer. AND if it ever comes up again (which it will), I have complete confidence in my abilities to tackle ANY challenge.
What’s that ONE THING that will get you through those sticky snafus? A growth mindset.
When you experience failure and self-doubt, you may cry or rage or even think, “I can’t wait until retirement!”
Get back up.
Determine exactly what you need to do.
Get the knowledge, take a course, get really good at one thing, read more, and discover what you need to do.
You already have what it takes to tackle any challenge.
For example, I learn about fifth grade social studies and science a week or two in advance. (Friends, it’s a good thing I love science and social studies because I do an unsavory amount of reading.)
Then I took an online course to bone up on math enabling me to rock math just about every single day WITH ALL MY LEVELS.
Don’t be stuck in the pit. Because staying there will harm your teaching in a very real way. You’ll continue to struggle with self-confidence and your day-to-day quality of life will suffer.
Once you learn to tackle your big challenges, you’ll continue to gain confidence in your abilities. Can you remember a time when you had a major break through and you were successful? I know you gained confidence when you got out of the pit that time.
As teachers, we have to be able to get back up too! And every time you get back up, those growth mindset muscles get stronger. You’re creating just the example that all your students need. You really can do this. You are their teacher. Prepare to soar!