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Sunday, April 02, 2017

Managing the Teaching/Learning Environment

There is much expected of educators in the teaching/learning environment and there are many who are creating those expectations including the state, district, and a number of administrators. Parents and students have expectations too, and there are further expectations from colleagues and community members.

I try to stay ahead of the expectations, but sometimes that's difficult since there's a lot of flexibility required since many of the expectations are moving targets.

The best teachers approach this reality with a smile on their face, a can-do attitude, and an effort to do the best that they can. These teachers always put students and families first when it comes to the many expectations that exist.

So as I think of the stream of expectations sent my way daily as an educator, I have to be mindful of these successful, flexible educators. They recognize that its not a perfect world, and in most cases the expectations altogether equal much more than one teaching year--perhaps even as much as two years or  more.

One good idea is to have the comeback for the expectations. For example when given last minute tasks or impossible initiatives, educators can simply say, Thanks for letting me know, then do what they can as it's often not worth trying to reason with logic, questions, or needs because many who share expectations don't really care about what you think or need anyways.

I think that I take the work too seriously sometimes. I like to do the best possible job, so I try to do all that's expected without really making the time to recognize that all that's expected is actually impossible and often not even positive for children. In places where educators matter, good conversation about issues like this exist, but in places where the educators are left out of the loop of decision making in meaningful ways, those conversations don't happen.

Aligning your work and share with those who care matters in this regards. Typically parents and children care a lot about what happens at school, and making their needs a first priority is most important. After that it's important to consider all the other expectations and do what you can.