Have you ever looked at colleagues around you and thought that you want to teach like them? Being inspired by others is wonderful and adopting great teaching ideas enhances ones teaching, however, once we start comparing ourselves to other people, we can set ourselves up for disappointment. Instead of trying to be just like this or that amazing teacher, it’s equally important to find your own voice.
Classrooms should look different and should be a reflection of the pupils you work with and the needs they bring into your classroom every year. Once I realised this, I stopped chasing other people’s visions and started creating my own. Even though I love browsing through Pinterest and looking at the amazing classrooms I now look at them in a different light, for once you have your own vision it’s not about copying but more about being inspired.
External factors such as Pinterest, colleagues, an article can inspire but there are some things you can do to continue to find inspiration from yourself. Read on for three simple ways to find inspiration from within.
Go outside your comfort zone
Finding inspiration requires a willingness to push oneself outside of one’s comfort zone. I try to keep the following quote in mind from the book ‘The Young Traveler’s Gift‘, “I will never seek comfort by being around those who have decided to be comfortable.” It reminds me about the importance of striving to improve and making sure that focusing on student learning always stays at the center of everything I do. Outside your comfort zone is where the magic happens. Anyone who has dared go beyond it will confirm this. Have you?
Find your people
Look around at the people on your school grounds and surround yourself with those you admire and look up to; the people who are genuinely good people and who went into teaching for all the right reasons and still have that passion; the people who don’t constantly see barriers in education, but consistently try to find ways to make sure they are always doing what’s best for their pupils. These people will become your group. If you have trouble finding these people nearby, then look within your district and make connections with the people who inspire you on other campuses. If you have trouble finding these people within your district, then look on social networks. I find some of my greatest inspiration in teaching from educators on Twitter and education groups on Facebook. Participate in Twitter chats, especially when looking for inspiration and new ideas. You’ll walk away with a renewed energy and spirit ready to try something new and exciting, and your pupils will thank you for it.
Two minds are better than one and when we share ideas we can accomplish great things. I know that my colleague might take the lesson I created and do something even better with it and that excites me. I love it when that happens, because it helps me learn something new that I can do to help my pupils, so don’t be afraid to share ideas. Celebrate the resourcefulness and the ideas with your colleagues. Embrace these opportunities to work with and learn from the people around you. Remember, finding inspiration in every opportunity can be as simple as finding inspiration in the little things around you.
What inspires you? Leave a comment below.
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Till next time…
Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash