Just like many of you, teachers across the United States are experiencing lots of change during this time of year like switching classrooms or schools, learning new curricula, and welcoming a new class of students. Changes like these push us outside of our comfort zones.
I used to look at veteran teachers and thought they had less planning and preparing to do because they could use lessons from their previous years. I’d dream of the day when I could relax at the beginning of the year and coast through my lessons like they were, or so it seemed. For some reason, I believed I could avoid the inevitable changes in our field; I was proven wrong when I changed grade levels for the first three years of my teaching career. I also learned that those veteran teachers still worked just as hard as the new teachers. What an interesting welcome to the world of education. I learned quickly that change is the one thing that always remains consistent.
During one of my recent training sessions, I quickly learned that my audience was full of brand new teachers of Shurley English. From my perspective, I thought, “How exciting!” On the contrary, I could tell from the faces in the audience that the teachers were feeling more overwhelmed than excited. Most of them were new to the school and were in the middle of their “professional development boot-camp.” It seemed as though the beginning of the year pressure had set in, and it was crunch-time for this staff!
As teachers, we would never expect our students, on the first day of school, to know all of the concepts that we will be teaching them throughout the year. As a Shurley English Consultant who trains teachers how to implement the curriculum into their classrooms, I would never expect my audience to master the concepts I teach them in one day! Over the years, it’s become evident that many teachers want to learn or believe that they need to learn a new curriculum in one training session. Realistically, I think we can all agree that learning something new takes time and effort. There’s no need for this kind of unnecessary pressure when learning a new curriculum like Shurley English. Not only does Shurley English make learning grammar, skills, and writing easy for your students; it also sets you, the educator, up for a successful year of teaching. We cannot avoid change, but we can practice pushing the boundaries of our comfort zones.
If you’re already feeling overwhelmed, here’s my quick advice:
Be willing to recreate the boundaries of your comfort zone. Level-up your teaching!
Step into this new situation with a beginner’s mindset. Be truly open to learning something new.
Seek out training…ASAP! It’s okay to ask for training. Knowledge will empower you.
So, take a breath and take it one lesson at a time. Once you get used to pushing the boundaries of your comfort zone, you’ll experience more resilience when you’re faced with change in and out of the classroom.
Bonus Blog: Do you want your Shurley English classroom to soar? Check out this blog entitled, “Taking off with Shurley English.” You’ll be glad you did!