Saturday, January 15

8 Secrets of Success or Confessions of a Conceited Teacher?

I'm a successful teacher. I'm not bragging, although it may seem that way. I love what I do and I feel successful. Am I arrogant? Am I conceited? Am I too full of myself?

Yesterday I was speaking to my student observer and I heard myself say to her, "I've been teaching for 29 years and I can't wait to see what I will learn this year." After I said it, I realized that I really meant it.

I never stop learning. Is that why I consider myself to be successful?

Then, quite accidentally, I came across this video and knew I had to reflect some more.

Richard St. John shares his 8 secrets of success.

So, I thought about each label of success and my career:
Passion - No brainer here! I've been a teacher my whole life. It defines me. It drives me. It's who I am. I think back to when I started my own school in my backyard when I was in fourth grade. It is my destiny.

Work - I put in the time. I don't watch the clock as I grade papers, plan and research better ways to teach.

Good - When I think of my first year of teaching and what I did NOT know and how I have practiced and practiced for 29 years to reach my current level.  It takes time to be good.

Focus - Life happens and I've tried many different areas in education, but I've never lost my focus on teaching.

Push - When I doubted myself the most, I pushed myself the hardest.  I was driven to learn more.

Serve - One of my favorite quotes is: "No one should teach who is not a bit awed by the importance of the profession." (George E. Fraiser)  It is a privilege to teach and I try never to forget this.

Ideas - I love to create my own way of doing things. Sometimes it has brought me a wealth of trouble, but more often than not, it brought success.

Persist - Even when I felt I messed up; even when no one knew, I didn't quit.  At my lowest, when I felt I would leave teaching and go work in a book store, I persevered and found new ways to rejuvenate and ignite my passion.

I am a successful teacher: not in a conceited way. I consider myself successful because I never stop learning.

Are you a successful teacher?  What do you hope to learn this year?


Unknown said...

"No one should teach who is not a bit awed by the importance of the profession." (George E. Fraiser)

That's a powerful quote. I wonder how teachers who only see teaching as a stepping stone would respond to this quote?

Thanks for the reminder of why I became a teacher and even if I'm not directly in the classroom, how to keep these 'secrets' tied to my work everyday.


Kim Yaris said...

So inspiring! Loved this post! Thanks for sharing....

Bernie Soong said...

Not conceited, not arrogant. Just inspiring and a reminder why we teachers do what we do.

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Thanks for the comments! I was concerned after I read it that I would appear full of myself, but you all recognized it was about passion and the need to keep growing as educators. I appreciate you stopping by, reading, and then, commenting. It means so much to me and I thank you again. Nancy

Sarah said...

I love to learn as well! I think that's part of why I became a teacher. Furthermore, I want to judge my success as a teacher not by test scores but by how much my students love to learn!!

Great post!

Nancy Hniedziejko (Nancy Ehrlich) said...

Hey Sarah! You are so right. Success is the light in their eyes when they are learning and excited about it. I sure wish we could bottle it. Thanks for reaffirming that teachers are the best students because we never stop learning. Always appreciate when you stop by:) Nancy

Rich@rcantrell said...

Nancy, Enjoyed the post and LOVED the video! You display passion, love, and enjoyment for teaching. Sounds great to me. Why not be full of this? This is one of my favorite blogs. Keep the beautiful words coming!

NancyTeaches said...

Hi Rich,
After a long day of conferences, I found your comment. Talk about perfect timing! While the conferences went well, they are draining. (I'd much rather spend the day with my kids.) Your comment gave me a much needed boost. It is amazing the impact we can make on one another through our PLN and Blogging. Your comments are more than sincerely appreciated. And, you motivate me to keep on writing. Thanks again, Nancy