Lindsay Brazell

Music Educator and Creative Professional

After Your Students, These Are The People You Want To Motivate

The other night I participated in a Twitter chat, #TeachSC, a weekly chat between educators of all backgrounds and fields in the state of South Carolina. Now that I live here again, and most importantly, am in the same time zone, I decided to join the conversation to keep my teacher hat out of the coat closet. How is that for a metaphor?

If you’re a frequent flyer here on LindsayBrazell.com, you may already know how much I advocate personal professional development, specifically utilizing Twitter and social media. I started participating in Twitter chats before I was a pre-service teacher, and the conversations I had with music educators from all walks of life and from different parts of the world really shaped much of my teaching philosophy. I never want to stop learning and growing as an educator, and having access to meaningful conversations at my fingertips is just amazing. If you’re not on Twitter, I highly recommend giving it a try.

The topic of the chat seemed to center on motivation. One of the first questions was, “Other than your students, what motivates you to be the best teacher you can be?”

I feel like the first reaction people had was, “My stud….oh. Besides my students? Hmmm.”

I would be lying to you if my biggest motivator were not my students. I love making connections with them, and watching them become better musicians and people. Heck, they make the day pretty fun. Except when it’s a full moon and they lose their minds. I digress…

After some thinking, most replies centered around ourselves; wanting to be better. We are motivated to stay current in our profession, to grow our programs, to achieve more with our students, to keep growing as musicians, writers, leaders, etc. I think this is super important! If we aren’t motivated to be our best, why would our students want to be their best?

However, one of the most profound sets of questions of the night centered on motivating others in our building…our fellow teachers! Then, we were asked to come up with an acrostic for the word MOTIVATE together.

I didn’t realize we were going letter by letter, so I just dove in. Here’s what I came up with:

Making

Other

Teachers

Instill

Valuable

Assets

Towards

Each other

Yes, I do realize that an acrostic poem doesn’t have to flow like a real sentence, but that’s where my brain went! And I’m also aware that the sentence I created is a little bit of a stretch, because how do you instill valuable assets towards each other…but I think the words are descriptive enough to get the big picture. Right?!

Teachers need to motivate teachers.

Don’t you sometimes see a teacher who is just killing it? Their students love them and are learning so much? Their programs are thriving and you can’t help but want to be in their class yourself? That’s what we need to be for each other.

Sometimes teachers can be a little greedy, not wanting success for other teachers perhaps in their own subject areas. How awful is that? That’s not helpful nor is it kind.

Share resources, ideas, dreams, and ask each other questions! Learn what is going on in each other’s classrooms. Invite teachers to observe you, and go observe your colleagues. There is so much we can learn from one another, whether we teach the same subject or not.

Now, brace yourselves, because I’m about to make a sports reference, which is hard for me since I don’t sports. But don’t you think the USA Olympic team cheers for one another? Sure, they are wanting to do their individual best, but in the grand scheme of things, they want their team to win the gold. We should be the same way.

Strive to be your individual best, but motivate and inspire your building. 

We should want greatness for the entire profession! The world of education can be tough sometimes, and I think if we motivate one another and have frequent, meaningful conversations, there could be several benefits! Our students would benefit, our schools would benefit, our communities, and hopefully our own pedagogy and passion for educating would benefit! I see no faults in this plan, folks!

Share some motivation this week, and you may get motivated in return!

How are you motivating your colleagues? How are they motivating you? Leave a comment, or continue the conversation on my Facebook page and on Twitter!

 

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/107892497@N03/

About Lindsay

I’m Lindsay, a choral music educator by day, a singer-songwriter by evening, and a writer when time allows. You can find my latest album, The Room I Found – Lindsay Morelli on iTunes.

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