Schools and Media Talent. 2 Real Roles. 2 Real Resilience.
Communication break: With two words – “Yahoo” and “cut” – I was able to sum up some fantastic tips teachers can incorporate into their daily teaching routines and hopefully inspire all of their students to do the same. Don’t worry. I didn’t need much persuasion to elicit the responses I got. This comes straight from the heart: I have no idea how to find Yahoo but I do know cut. (more on the blog later)
It is my job to get to know as many teachers and media professionals as possible and hear their stories. My goal is to convey as much information as possible to you about their experiences, interactions and for what it’s worth, whether it’s ups or downs, there’s resilience to spare.
So when I heard about Richmond Heights High School Spanish teacher Karen Rogozine (pictured) realising the power of her own resilience in the face of multiple workplace and personal challenges, I decided to write this blog post.
These are the top three things teachers can do to develop greater levels of resiliency:
Don’t be afraid to consider the possibility of making a change – especially when change is not your first choice. If you consider the fact that all the industry changes you have experienced so far are within your control, you do not need to run from your fears. Consider all the changes ahead and plan, but don’t panic. There is a way to face it head on, learn from your mistakes and use them to improve your own approach. You don’t have to change your job title or walk away from something as important as teaching. The fear of changing something you are already good at can stop many educators from considering what they can do differently and make them unwilling to see their skills need improvement. Forget about what you think you need to be good at or be. You can be an amazing teacher and even better with the changes you make in your career. You can also get away with more freedom as you move into a new role. Don’t expect help from people around you. In the top three bullet points below, add a key tip for your other loved ones.
Prepare yourself for change. Get familiar with the job dynamics. Make sure you understand how to build a relationship with your team. Think before you act and take a time out before any major change occurs. Don’t immediately try to take over. Slow down and consider your plans. Focus on how the new position will impact your family. Be mindful that you don’t want your job change to affect your career. Chances are, many of your struggles would have been exacerbated, had you not taken the time to plan ahead. Try everything first. Jump into unfamiliar territory without doing your research – even if it is a little scary! You are improving your skill set by taking an interest in your new situation. It is never too late to learn new things. It’s always too late to stop learning. You are not perfect – that’s part of what makes you a great teacher. Change what you want to change. If you want to change certain parts of your job, start by figuring out which areas would actually improve your overall teaching practice and have the biggest impact on your students. It’s easy to think you are doing something new, but remember change is never easy. Change is an unknown, frustrating and almost always an uncomfortable process. Start small, review your first experiment and move on. Change is an ongoing process. Focus on figuring out what you don’t like. Do it in small bites and find out how much resistance you have going up against the unknown. Turn the fear you are feeling into curiosity. After facing the challenges, have faith that you can build your skills and confidence. Do not stop learning, you will face another obstacle. After you have fully faced the situation, you can turn it around and expand upon your knowledge.
Renowned research and coaching professionals Ellen Schwartzberg and Gordon Kurtz (Adele Mindshift, 795 tables of strategy) put together a resiliency framework for media professionals (inspired by the beautiful words of Buddha – “Courage in labour is bliss”). They’ve helped so many people bring passion and light to their work, and it is inspiring to know that you don’t have to shrink back in the face of this.