5 Questions Every Teacher Should Ask Themselves

Written by Megan Epley, Founder

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Hopefully you enjoyed my junior high story in the previous post! So now what? Now how can you inspire your students.

Well here are the main questions to ask yourself when establishing your classroom foundation:

1. Why did you become a teacher?

You need to ask this to yourself daily. Helps your passion and reminds you to put life into perspective.

2. Will students achieve that by you planning a kick ass lesson or you being a kick ass person who shows that you care about them and their education?

Any one can teach and anyone can tell a joke but the delivery is how we remember that lesson or joke. Creating experiences creates memories, which creates retention. Do you know how many jokes I say incorrectly or sing the wrong words to a popular song or mistake basketball teams even though I know them perfectly? Thousands of times.

A. I want them to remember me as that quirky art teacher that tried so hard because she cared

B. I want to establish a safe environment where they teach me something.

So together we’re in this learning experience and environment just being creative. Sure I might know the answer but I want my students to create ownership and pride to something like teaching me how to dance. Creating ownership is established in all stARTem classes and we’ve seen how effective it is.

3.How would you want to learn and feel in your classroom?

Think of your own experiences as a student. Things you enjoyed about classes-integrate that in your own. The things you hated be aware of them and be sure to do the complete opposite.

4. Have you formed a good relationship with your administration?

Now let’s face it, you’re not always going to be Mr. Feeney or Ms. Honey and will need to enforce discipline. And if it’s not your day, which that day WILL happen, and when it does, IT IS OKAY, call your administration. Your administration is there to help you. They are your backup and if they’re not always present go to your fellow teachers. Because as teachers we’re here to help one another. Especially first years it’s intimidating but you’ll never be on an island if you don’t reach out. I found asking for help isn’t weak it’s brave.

5. Find the negative and turn into a positive situation

Find those “disrupters” and make them your assistant or class helper. There is always a reason for student behavior. Being disrespected by a student, not okay and frankly drives me up the walls for it’s simple right? When I give announcements please don’t interrupt me, easy pesy lemonade squezy class. But here’s the thing, what if that student hasn’t learned what respect is? Sure they might be 12 but maybe there’s disruption in their life at home. Maybe they just want someone to see them. So give them a task, show them you care about them by showing them that you value them enough that they can assist you and the class. Now if we’re talking about magic then this is it. I have seen those disrupters change into different humans. I’ve had numerous students all of sudden take pride in something. They begin caring and wanting to know what’s next for the project. They look forward to something.

THEY BEGIN TO OWN THEIR EDUCATION. THEY BEGIN TO OWN THEIR IDENTITY.

Which I’m going to assume that has something to do with why you became a teacher. Turning a negative situation into a positive situation is your biggest sneaky and powerful tool.

Just like my students, I am constantly learning throughout good and bad days.

All of stARTem’s teaching practices were designed from a vulnerable place of failure. Trust me I had those days where I just wanted to walk out of class crying, but I didn’t because I had to remind myself of my why. Once that was established, I could problem-solve the building process of a confidently safe and inspiring classroom environment.

Hope this gives you all the good vibes! Comment below with some ways you inspire your students.