Who said January is the time for change? For us, it’s more often a September calling. Opportunities pop up all around. When the window for change comes, do you teeter on the edge then back in where it’s safe? This message is for everyone who is comfortably stuck and knows it.
When opportunity for motivation, inspiration or expansion knocks, take it. Don’t be afraid. Don’t stay in your comfortable and secure rut. Don’t curb your professional (or personal) growth because you think you can’t. You know it’s not good for you. You know it’s not good for your students. You know it’s not good. If you’re teetering back and forth on a decision to take a chance for something better, let me be the push you need to do it.
Mix things up
PPP is a great starting point for teachers to structure a lesson, but if you teach in this or one way all the time, you’re not maximising the opportunity for reaching all students. You’re not giving yourself or the students the benefits of different approaches: task-based, project-based, CLIL, something different. Try activities and methods you’re not comfortable with. Learning is not just on the students’ end.
Use unfamiliar materials
Inspiration for change can come from everywhere, not just the resources you’ve become familiar with. Move away from sticking to the coursebook (does this even need to be said anymore?). Go to the library (or bookstore) and check out a resource you’ve never looked at before. Find an activity you would normally overlook. Try it out by adapting it for your context.
Collaborate with a colleague of other programs. Learn about activities they use that works in their contexts. Can it be modified to suit yours? Some form of it likely can. Hearing (or better yet observing) how they do things can often be a great mode of inspiration even if what they do doesn’t directly apply. I recently discovered novel in an hour from mainstream K-12 teachers.
Take that new job
Too many times we get too comfortable with the role we’ve been doing for so long that we can do it blindfolded and virtually absently. You know you want to try something different yet you fear that change. What if I don’t like it? What if I can’t do it? It’s easier to stay where I am. Yes, it’s easier to give up than grow too. You never know what benefits this change will bring you, but you certainly know your comfortable rut won’t bring you any of them.
Make this the year you make that change you know is needed. Are you ready to jump?