Become a Champion Teacher
by Ron Kurtus (revised 14 April 2012)
A champion is a person who can achieve a difficult goal or overcome challenging obstacles. A difficult goal for a teacher could be helping a student get a scholarship, organizing a school function or getting a better assignment.
Challenges could be handling misbehaving students, working in a run-down school environment or coping with an demanding principal.
Once you set a goal of what you want to do or get, there is a simple procedure to follow to achieve that goal. Afterwards, it is good to give thanks and give back.
Questions you may have include:
- How do I set a goal?
- What are the steps to achieve that goal?
- What is giving back about?
This lesson will answer those questions.
Setting your goal
Often goals are an effort to solve a problem or something you have to do. If you had a student who disrupted the class, your goal would be to change his behavior or to get rid of him. If your car broke down on the way to school, your goal might be to find a way to get there on time.
Other goals are seeking something that will give you pleasure or enjoyment. You might want to take a vacation overseas. Or you could set a goal of increasing the test average of your class.
For most of your goals, you aren't even aware of them. You don't purposely set a goal to buy a candy bar and enjoy eating it. You just do it. But for major goals that may take a lot of effort, it is essential to define the goal and to write it down.
Achieving the goal
The steps to achieve your goal are:
- Get a good idea or plan of action
- Get some support
- Have a Champion attitude
- Take a shot
- Celebrate or re-evaluate
1. Plan of action
Whatever your goal, you need a plan of action or means to achieve that goal. The idea of how to achieve the goal can be difficult, and you may try a number of ideas and plans until you find the one that works.
For example, if you need money, you get the idea of getting a job. You also get the idea of a way to get a job is to stand on a street corner with a sign. If that idea doesn't work, you might try looking at the want ads in the paper as a method to achieve your goal. There are also subtle strategies that can be used. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, some people would go on a job interview dressed in rags as a strategy to get sympathy to get a job when jobs were scarce.
Teachers typically want to get their students interested in the class work. Some may have a strategy of building enthusiasm among the students. Other teachers may just do the minimum and expect the students to take care of their own interest. As you get feedback on your results, you can make adjustments.
2. Get some support
Although you can do things completely by yourself, it is always good to include others in your effort. They may be able to provide some help, advice or simply root for your success.
Teachers will often get support and advice on how to achieve a classroom goal from fellow teachers. Family and friends can also provide moral support for what you want to do.
3. Champion attitude
You need to have the attitude of a champion to help you achieve your goal. You need motivation, confidence and energy before you get started. Once you implement your plans, you need excellence and character to assure your complete success.
You need to be motivated to do something. The rewards or benefits you seek, as compared to the work required is your motivation.
In situations where you are dealing with other people, you need to be able motivate them to act. This is done by providing the others with something they want or value.
The saying is, "You can get what you want by helping others get what they want." This is a win-win situation.
You need to feel sure that you can perform the tasks required to achieve your goal and get what you want. Confidence comes from learning what to do and how to do it, and then having some success in applying your skills.
Other people should have confidence in you, such that they are sure you will come through and do what is promised.
The saying is, "Celebrate every success, no matter how small."
Inertia often keeps a person from starting a task, especially if it is difficult or unpleasant. You need energy to get going and to keep going. Motivation and confidence help build up that energy. But also, good physical and mental health is important. You can be motivated all you want, but if your mind isn't clear and your body is tired, you aren't going to be doing much.
The saying is, "Take care of your health."
When you buy something, you want quality goods. Likewise, when you do something, you should do excellent work. When you do a good job, step back and take a look at it with pride. It is a good feeling to have pride in your work. That means you have pride in yourself. Pat yourself on the back and say, "Good job."
But doing good work that is he wrong work is not productive. You need to know the requirements and what is really wanted.
The saying is, "Do your best and be proud of it."
There are two main areas of character: honesty and determination. Both are important, but for different reasons.
Lying, stealing or cheating just doesn't pay. A person may advance for awhile with dishonesty, but other people don't like it and will seek revenge. Once you are known as dishonest, people will not want trust you or care to deal with you. A student can cheat and get a better grade, but if he gets caught, the consequences are greater than the gain.
Reliability and responsibility fall under honesty. It is better to be admired for being reliable than to be self-centered and scorned.
Determination, courage, and perseverance are admirable character traits that will help a person achieve his or her goals and succeed.
4. Take a shot
As the commercial says, "Do it." You've got to implement your plan and seek to achieve your goal.
5. Celebrate or re-evaluate
Goals are seldom achieved with one effort. If you fail or have a set-back, it is necessary to re-evaluate your plan, make adjustments and continue or give it another effort.
If you do succeed, celebrate your achievement. This makes you feel great--like a champion.
Once you have achieved your goal, celebrated your success and reaped the benefits of your rewards, you should step back and give thanks for your good fortune. A good way to do that is to try to give back by helping others succeed. This could be to help the needy, help some fellow teachers or volunteer in some charitable activity.
Helping others is championing a cause and makes you a true champion.
By achieving a difficult goal or overcoming problems, you feel like a champion. You set goals for everything you do. You should write down the goal if it is a difficult goal. Once you set a goal of what you want to do or get, you make plans, get support, have a champion attitude, go for, and celebrate or re-evaluate. Afterwards, it is good to give thanks and give back.
You CAN be a champion
Resources and references
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