Changing the Approach: How I changed my life as a teacher

 
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My approach to teaching used to be very different.

I used to be very high energy and “on” all the time, constantly in go mode every lesson. Every lesson I plunged myself 100 percent and I drove myself to the max until I had nothing left.

At this point (not so long ago) energetically, I was in trouble. My lessons were going smashingly well, but I was hitting a wall physically and mentally. I would get home and would be catatonic after. It was taking everything out of me, and my body was rebelling, and something had to change.

The shift in my approach began with the simple concept of “don’t correct mistakes” and this snowballed into a total change of how I approach teaching in every way.

What this shift looked like for me, is that instead of correcting mistakes, my role shifted into more of a guide that helped students become aware of their own process. That helped them learn how to correct their own mistakes. To be aware of their own journey (for all ages)

When my role shifted from “lecturing” to “guiding” all of a sudden I noticed a change in both my own awareness, but also the dynamic between myself and my students. Suddenly the lesson dynamic became one of team mindset. “Let’s figure this out together.” Or “Let’s explore this together” or “What a great idea, what can we do with it”

When the lessons became much more exploratory, all of a sudden I didn’t have to burn myself out every day, but my energy level began to shift into a much more manageable place. I learned how capable students of all ages are. How not everything has to fall on my shoulders all the time. How I can breathe and let them experience their own process, with me as a guide.

All of a sudden, that catatonic end of the day feeling did a 180 shift into “Wow, what a great day, so many students grew and I grew with them.”