Reinvent your teaching

Hi, my name is Richard and I am a teacher.

I’ve been teaching for over 20 years. For those of you out there who are also teachers, you may have found yourself at one time or another getting into a rut.

When we first start out teaching, everything is new and scary, and we really have no idea what to expect.

We make a lot of mistakes but gradually we learn to become better teachers over time. As our classes begin to run smoother, we begin to feel like we may actually have some clue what we are doing.

While the growth curve from going from a newb to an experienced instructor can be tremendous, over the years this curve can level out.

After almost 20 years of teaching I found myself on such a plateau. While I was still doing a good job running my classes, somewhere along the line I had fallen into a holding pattern and my growth as a teacher had come to a crawl.

While I still took my role quite seriously, it had grown flat. My passion was fizzling and in some ways the profession I had devoted the better part of my life had begun to feel like a job.

To be honest, this really ate away at me. I’ve always tried to live my life with the guideline that if you’re not having fun, it’s time to move on and try something new.

I didn’t want to give up, but I realized I needed to find a way to revitalize my craft and the way I looked at my role as a teacher. I needed a way to put myself back on the growth curve I had experienced when I first started teaching.

It took a while for me to finally see the path but while attending a professional development day at my college I attended a seminar that would end up being the catalyst that rekindled the teaching spark inside.

The main concept of the lecture was that the process continuous improvement, a tool that has been applied in the realm of business for quite a while, could be leveraged in the realm of education.

The idea here was that there is room for improvement in just about everything, including my teaching and my classes. With each new class I could effectively apply the scientific method and test a hypothesis about improving my classes and measure it’s impact on the success of my students.

Talking on this mindset, my goals now became not only to help my students succeed but to continue to look for the absolute best ways to do this.

For those of you out there who are in the teaching profession, I pose this question. Have you perfected and found the most effective way to teach your subject matter and transfer skills to your students?

If you teach math for example, have you discovered, sought out and tested the most effective ways to make this subject approachable and understandable to all of your students. Have you just been running the same old playbook or have you ventured out and dared to rewrite it.

Just imagine if every teacher could follow a path that could take them from just being good to becoming truly exceptional.

I have found such a path and I want to encourage anyone out there who may find themselves in a teaching rut to unlock this powerful approach and re-ignite their passion for teaching and learning.