Saturday, May 7, 2011

Teaching Mojo

Mojo
Noun.
1. A person's style
2. power; charisma. : She seemed to radiate a penetrating mojo that made her easy to deal with
3. Self-confidence, Self-assuredness. As in basis for belief in ones self in a situation. Esp. I context of contest or display of skill such as going into battle.


Teaching Mojo - the stuff that makes you radiate in the classroom. Makes you settle into a new day and say 'bring it on' - where does it come from and where does it go?

Once it's gone... how do you get it back?

The last term I felt somewhat flat - things weren't happening like I wanted them too. They weren't bad, but it really didn't have that magical feeling of being an amazing teacher. This term, 1 week in, and our class and I feel somewhat magical. The kids are enthusiastic, keen and taking their learning outside the classroom doors. They are researching, questioning and bringing their parents into their learning. But I'm also enthused, excited and at the end of the day thinking forward to what next?, what about? and how about? It's amazing how much your teaching mojo influences the whole atmosphere of the class. The teaching mojo is back.

We know that our attitude and enthusiasm affects the classroom.
It's not rocket science really. But crucial to remember.

Think back to a bad day that you had in the classroom.
Think about what your class was like and what it felt like.
Now think about a great day.
Think about the atmosphere that radiates through your class - what made it such a great day?

I remember having Tony Ryan work with us at the beginning of the year and talking about keeping a check on our work/life balance as a teacher. If that is out of kilter it's easy to loose yourself. Funnily enough at the time - I thought, 'yes, that's me and I'm going to change that this year' - kick in term time and how easily we forget the goals we set ourselves! It reminds me of a post from Tony's blog I really loved reading. 'The First 5 Minutes' - the idea that the perception of everything is formed in the first 5 minutes - your day, your attitude, students attitude to the day, the lesson, the learning.

For the first holidays ever I did a minimal amount of work - thanks to being sick. This was somewhat a blessing in disguise. 2 weeks away from work but still having time to reflect/think meant some great changes were made. I could recharge, re-form and re-assess what was happening in my classroom, but most importantly what was happening for me. I guess I needed to time to get the balance back.

Sometime we need to reassess that all to important work-life balance that we easily forget about.

So, I guess the question is - what do you do when you've lost you're teaching mojo?

Balance 3 Balance used under Creative Commons from Darkr on Flickr

2 comments:

Allanah King said...

Somedays it's just not there.

Somedays it just is.

Hard to say what makes the difference sometimes.

Being sick myself these holidays meant I didn't face the job with energy on the first day back- neither did the kids.

Over the week I just out my 'game face on' and things came right.

Just doing it seemed to me to work- this time round any way.

Allanah

Miss Signal said...

Yes, you had a horrible sounding holiday. Good to have you back in NZ and on the mend though!

It is hard to say what makes the difference - so many possible influences I think as well.

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