Today is the third day of our series, “What is a R.E.N.E.W.E.D. T.E.A.C.H.E.R.?” What does the letter N stand for you may wonder? Well, continue reading.
As a RenewED Teacher, we never:
NEVER GIVE UP
This section is not apart of the original post I wrote, but I felt compelled to make an addendum. I wrote this post prior to yesterday’s events in Charlottesville, VA. What is happening in America, people? Are we time traveling or are people just no longer hiding? As a teacher of COLOR, I have biases and prejudices towards some students of color (as a matter of fact, all students that exhibit certain behaviors). I believe we all do, but it takes conscious and persistent effort for us to NEVER GIVE UP on overcoming these biases and prejudices to exonerate us of what is happening in America. There is apparent and blatant racism in our country. I cannot teach black, brown, and white faces and pretend everything is okay. It is unacceptable. As educators, I believe one of our roles is to work towards equity in education. That means no matter the “personal or social circumstances such as gender, ethnic origin or family background, are not obstacles to achieving educational potential (definition of fairness) and that all individuals reach at least a basic minimum level of skills (definition of inclusion).” (Center for Global Education)
NEVER GIVE UP
This has a lot to do with day 1 and remembering our why. If our why is always at the forefront of everything we do, then we should be working to do whatever it takes to see that it comes to fruition.
The Business of Our Why
As a teacher, I am in the business of helping all young children succeed, period. I teach to help them navigate, understand, and learn about the world in which they live. My hope is that they grow up to be world class, responsible and wise citizens. Everything else is secondary. I will not give up on my desire of seeing children of all races, genders, and every other dividing human factor become successful. I will not give up on making a difference.
What Makes Us Want to Give Up?
Now, I get it. I am in the classroom too. The test scores make us want to give up. The behaviors of some students make us want to give up. Some of the families make us want to give up. Administrators that don’t support us make us want to give up. Education policies make us want to give up. Small a** pay checks make us want to give up. Criticism from everyone that has never taught makes us want to give up. Feeling like we are not living our why makes us want to give up. But if we want our most struggling students not to give up, how can us giving up, help them? We chose this profession for a reason, and we must work until we see it come to fruition.
Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich,” puts it this way:
- “Before success comes in any man’s life, he is sure to meet with much temporary defeat, and perhaps some failure.”
- “Success comes to those who become success conscious. Failure comes to those who indifferently allow themselves to become failure conscious.”
- “Dreams are not born of indifference, laziness, or lack of ambition.”
- “Successful men, in all callings, never stop acquiring specialized knowledge related to their major purpose, business, or profession.”
- “When defeat comes, accept it as a signal that your plans are not sound, rebuild those plans, and set sail once more toward your coveted goal. If you give up before your goal has been reached, you are a ‘quitter.’ A quitter never wins –and –a winner never quits.”
I share these quotes to remind us all that we WILL fail as educators. It is inevitable. However, when we make failure a non-factor and push anyway, success is that much closer. Watch this video below to see why we should never give up. (Perhaps share it with your students too. :-))
As we continue to learn and grow together, will you share what you will NEVER GIVE UP on and why? I promise not to bite. Leave your thoughts in the comments! I cannot wait to hear from you!
Until then, Happy Teaching!
Krystal L. Smith