Larry D. Allen, Ed.S.

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Inspirational Training & Support for Teachers

“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” ~ Theodore Roosevelt

What Moves Us As Teachers? – Part Three

Commitment– Aligning with the goals of a group or organization.

Highly effective teachers with this competency know the following:
1. How to readily make sacrifices to meet a larger organizational goal
2. How to find a sense of purpose in the larger mission
3. How to actively seek out opportunities to fulfill the group’s mission
4. How to use the group’s core values in making decisions and clarifying choices.

Highly effective teachers are going to go the “extra mile” for students. Although personalities and teaching styles are different, the commitment to the goals and purpose of their school on multiple levels are being met but more importantly are being exceeded.

The essence of commitment is making our personal goals and those goals of our organization one and the same. Commitment is emotional. We feel a strong attachment to our group’s goals when the resonate strongly with our own. Those whose values embrace an organization’s mission are willing not just to make an all-out effort on its behalf, but to make personal sacrifices when needed.

Self-awareness is a building block of commitment. Employees who know their own guiding values or purpose will have a vivid sense about whether there is a fit with an organization . When they feel a math, their commitment is spontaneous and strong.

Initiative and Optimism-Displaying proactively and persistence.

Highly effective teachers with initiative know the following:
1. How to be ready to seize opportunities
2. How to pursue goals beyond what is required or expected of them
3. How to cut through red tape and bend the rules when to get the job done
4. How to mobilize others through unusual enterprising effort

Highly effective teachers with optimism know the following:
1. How to operate from hope of success rather than fear of failure
2. How to persistently seek goals despite obstacles and setbacks
3. How to see setbacks as manageable circumstances rather than a personal flaw

What Moves Us As Teachers? – Part Two

Teachers have maximum flexibility in how they are going to present their curriculum and standards to their students each day.  They can control when they give assessments, the rubric for grades, and the classroom behavioral expectations.  This is the perfect format for maximum flow.  For maximum success in the classroom our attention to flow is a top priority in minimizing stress or emotional obstacles that will distract us as professionals from our goals and objectives for our students.

Three motivational competencies typify highly effective teachers:

Achievement drive: Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence
Commitment:  Embracing the organization’s  or group’s vision and goals
Initiative and Optimism:  Twin competencies that mobilize people to seize opportunities and allow them to take setbacks and obstacles in stride.

Achievement Drive:  Striving to improve or meet a standard of excellence.

Highly effective teachers know the following:

  1. How to be results-oriented with a high drive to meet their objectives a standards.
  2. How to set challenging goals and objectives and take calculated risks
  3. How to pursue information to reduce uncertainty and find ways to do better
  4. How to learn to improve their performance each day

Teachers are evaluated daily by their students who report to their parents and family members about life throughout each day.  If approximately 400 students report to parents daily eight classes, they report 3,200 classes in a single day.  When you multiply 3,200 class by 180 days in a school year that totals 576,000 classes from the first to the last day of school evaluated by students and their parents.

This level of evaluation and this type of reporting system takes place in no other profession but education.  Our children are our most valuable possessions as parents, as a community as a county, as a state, and as a nation.  .

What Moves Us As Teachers? – Part One

Most rewarding were the creative challenges that were stimulating within the work itself, and the chance to keep learning on a daily basis. The next three sources of reward included: pride in getting things done on time, work friendships, and helping or teaching people on the job. Much lower on the list came status, and even lower was financial gain.

Traditional incentives miss the point when it comes to getting people to perform at their absolute best to reach the top rung of their ladder. People must love what they do and find pleasure in doing it. This is exactly what happens in successful schools. As a professional teacher, one cannot enjoy a productive school environment in isolation.

One has to be a part of a professional family of teachers to make it all work from the soul which is where excellent teaching originates. Loving what you do in the classroom and bonding to the highest level possible with your students are the roots of success as a professional teacher. All else will fall into place.

Motive and emotion share the same Latin root, motere, “to move.” Emotions are literally what move us to pursue our goals; They fuel our motivations, and our motives in turn drive our perceptions and shape our actions. Great work starts with great feelings.

Work is the main arena of life that gives people the chance for flow. The University of Chicago pioneered the study of flow with employees at work and in leisure time. The results were surprising. The research reported that on average employees reported being in flow on the job fifty percent of the time and less than twenty percent of the time during their leisure hours. The most common emotional state reported during leisure time was apathy!

Teacher Self-Control in the Classroom: Part Three

The ultimate act of personal responsibility in a school setting may be in taking control of our own . Moods exert a powerful pull on thought, memory, and perception. When we are angry, we more readily remember incidents that support our upset. Our thoughts become preoccupied with the object of our anger, and our irritability changes our normal balanced view of things,. As a result, we tend in these situations to overreact and can say or do things that show us emotionally out of control.

We all have bad days. It helps to tell your students you are having a bad day, and ask your students to help you through the lesson. Assure students that you will be back on track tomorrow. If you are honest, students will understand. Most students can read immediately upon entering your classroom how you are feeling, especially if you are feeling very sad or depressed.

At the same time, our students enter our classrooms with the same above scenario, but they do not know how to tell their teachers about an incident at home, their health problems, family problems, physical problems, or emotional problems. This is where our empathy and compassion for our students kicks into play.

Many students have a more stable relationship with their teachers than any other adult in their life. When they see their teachers unstable or out-of-control, it scares them as they see their teachers as the emotional rock they can count on every day. What do students do when their emotional rock is out of control? They become scared, and they too feel out-of-control.

The truth is that schools as they are organized are very therapeutic for teachers and students. Schools are stable and the expectations are the same each day, each week, each month, each year, and continue until graduation. The schedule works the same each day regarding the start and stop times, the changing of class periods, the order of classes, the rules, and the consequences. All is predictable and easy to understand.