Hey there, sweet friend. Today, I want to talk about you. I know you so well, because I think about you all the time. Here you are volunteering your time to get more information, motivation and encouragement to continue doing what you do and what you love most. Making your impact in the classroom and being the savior of the world’s future. That is absolutely amazing. And I love what you do. So today we’re going to talk about the core beliefs that make you the teacher that you are down in your teacher core.
These are the beliefs that you and others like you hold and refer to often to keep you growing, to keep you refreshed, and keep you moving forward. As an educator, I mention these not because I think you need to work at creating them, but that you need to identify them within yourself often. Bask in them, nurture them, and grow to your full teacher potential using them.
So today, let’s chat the five core beliefs that you and every effective primary teacher has in their teacher heart of hearts.
Today, I want you to dig within yourself and cherish them for just a moment. And let’s refuel our teachers spirit with them.
Core Belief #1: I Am In Control of My Happiness As a Teacher
Core belief number one of the most effective primary educators is that I am in control of my happiness as a teacher. Now, sometimes we may lose touch of this very core idea. But at the end of the day, we know that we hold inside of ourselves what we need to sustain in this career. You know, when I look around at the most unhappy teachers, the blame is always placed on an outside source.
“Well, my principal doesn’t appreciate me. The parents in my classroom hate me. My classroom management is out of control.”
All of those may sound like viable excuses to be miserable. But at the end of the day, the most effective teachers control their own happiness. They make their own fate and make decisions to let go of things that do not bring them joy and happiness. Of course, I can’t get rid of my principal or whoever might be causing the trouble. But I absolutely can take control of how they make me feel.
I am in this for my students. I am in this for a more noble cause. So I have to be in control of my happiness. Sometimes that may mean shutting my door and being alone more often than I would like, because deep down, I know that negativity is not going to help me enjoy my job.
Now, friend, let me recommend to you if you are having trouble in this area of administration, you need to find your very own cheerleaders. If your principal is not patting you on the back, as you most certainly deserve, maybe that means you need to look past that and find your own support.
This is something I have definitely had to do over the years. I cannot live without my cheerleaders, whether those are parents or mentors, or any of those things. If you’d like to learn how to find your own cheerleaders, hop back to THIS POST (Episode 30), where I covered this extensively. And this can definitely help you if you feel like you are unsupported in your career.
But just remember that you are in control of how you feel. And we’re not doing this for our administrators or our co-workers. We’re doing this for the impact we’re having on the future, which is far more important than anything else.
Core Belief #2: Children Are Inherently Good
Let’s move on to number two. The most effective teachers know that children are inherently good. In their little selves, they hold the goodness of the world.
There’s so much going on around us. So much negativity and hate and hurt in our society.
But when we look at children, we know that they are good. And because children are inherently good, that means we are in a noble cause. We are dealing with all of the stress and all of the pressure because we believe that what we are doing is making a difference in our world.
Sadly, when we look around, we feel that no one is looking out for the most vulnerable. There are a lot of people in our world who make decisions based on themselves. The difference makers of this world are making decisions based on the goodness of children, along with this idea that children are inherently good.
Sometimes when children get out of control, it’s easy to blame it on them and say they’re just bad and evil. Well now, they’re not. Maybe we had a bad management day, and we need a new strategy. But children are the goodness of the world. And teachers know that for sure, especially primary teachers. We have this wonderful opportunity to work with the world’s most vulnerable, most lovable, little humans, and what a joy that is.
Core Belief #3: I Can Overcome Obstacles With Growth
And now let’s go on to core idea number three: I can overcome obstacles with growth.
I think looking back, the reason I became a teacher is because I love learning so much. Learning was a powerful tool for me to escape from the other things in my childhood. Growth is powerful. In this life, you’re either growing, or you’re doing the opposite: you’re dying. And none of us want anything to do with that.
The most effective teachers are those who are constantly learning to improve in their career. We want to get better and stay on top of things. We want to have the knowledge to serve our students the best that we can.
The most effective teachers are not perfect teachers, because such a thing does not exist. But we are constantly overcoming obstacles by finding the solutions and systems to help us overcome those obstacles really quickly.
I’d love to mention an opportunity for growth that I have available to you. I just completed the Finish With Joy BLOG and podcast series that came with a free workbook (over on the blog post). If you are at the end of your school year, or even in the summer, I challenge you to grow with that learning opportunity. It was so rewarding to walk through that process with teachers, and I hope that you will find some joy within it.
Core Belief #4: I Am Talented
Core idea number four is that you are talented.
Say that to yourself.
I am talented in my teaching career.
Now it may seem a little selfish to speak of yourself that way. It’s very unnatural.
But we believe to our core, whether we brag about it or not, that we are talented in what we’re doing. You, teacher, are an expert in your field. What does it mean to be an expert? It means that you do something over and over and over until you understand it in and out.
You are having hands on practice every single day in the areas that you are teaching. Therefore, whether you want to or not, you need to step into the role of a talented teacher. You have talents, and you can do things that others cannot do.
Especially when facing parents and administrators, you need to own this role. You need to walk into any conversation understanding that you are the expert, you are the talented one with the answers, and you need to be confident in facing anything that they have to throw at you.
When I was a new kindergarten teacher, I thought my principal, when he walked in the door knew everything I was supposed to be doing, that he understood all of the standards, and that basically, I was some kind of imposter standing in front of him.
Well, if you’re a new teacher, listen closely as I tell you that your principal is not an expert in your grade level. Unless they taught it extensively in years past, they do not have your level of expertise in your grade level. Turns out my principal knows absolutely nothing about kindergarten or primary as a whole because he taught high school. But now years later, that same principle who absolutely intimidated me that first year comes to me for advice about things that deal with my grade level or primary reading, specifically, because I am the expert.
And guess what?
I was the expert back then and just had not stepped into that role.
So I hope you realize it today and can say confidently that you are talented, especially in those areas that you are most passionate about.
Core Belief #5: I Am Appreciated
And finally, let’s get on to core belief number five, and that is that you are appreciated.
Of course, as we spoke before, this appreciation may not come from your principal, your co workers or even the families that you serve. But when we look into the needy eyes of our tiny little learners, we know that we are appreciated. We know that what we’re doing is useful and purposeful and irreplaceable. We have to know that for sure to keep going.
I know that it hurts sometimes when we don’t get the pat on the back that we deserve. I have felt that in my own career, every single year. There are people around me that should encourage me and lift me up. But they don’t.
Here’s the thing, though. I’m not working for them.
Well, technically, I am working for them. But they are not the reason that I show up to work each day with meaning in my heart. That reason is my students, even though they are too small to really articulate their feelings. They appreciate me showing up day in and day out and sharing my joy for learning with them.
I see it in their smiles and in their silly nature when we’re doing brain breaks between our lessons. I know it from the way they appreciate and love me. But we effective teachers must hang on to this idea that our students give us the appreciation that we need to keep going.
We are making the difference for them even in times when it feels like our work is very unappreciated. So remember that core belief and hang to it tight when everything else fails. Your students need you, and they appreciate their loving and wonderful and happy teacher. So keep doing what you’re doing and do it for them.
Keep Making a Difference!
Teacher friend, I hope this post about core beliefs of the most effective primary teachers has helped you look in the mirror and really recognize that you have these beliefs within you and that you are the kind of teacher every student deserves. Let me encourage you to please hop over to Facebook and join our Primary Teacher Friends Facebook community. This is a community of teachers just like you that I’m building in hopes of having this safe and wonderful place to collaborate with others like us.
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your week. Sweet teacher, keep on doing what you’re doing. It’s incredible. And until we meet again, go make a difference, teacher friend.