In 2003, a show called "Mythbusters" started airing on the Discovery Channel. Two scientists were out to "bust" myths about science. There were many myths they busted, and some ended up being legit. I'm sure there are many myths about a variety of things that could be busted. Among them would be myths about teachers and the teaching profession. Some of those teacher myths are believed by onlookers- non-educators. And then many, unfortunately, are believed by those of us in the thick of education. So what are the myths we, as educators, believe about teachers? There are three myths that I think many, if not most, teachers believe about other teachers...
Myth Buster #1: There exists a Perfect Teacher
You probably know as well as the next person that there is no such thing as a "perfect" teacher. This is the easiest myth-buster of them all. Somehow, though, we tend to set whole-heartedly believe this myth. While these teachers may seem "perfect", they likely are just really great at "faking it 'til they make it". I'm also willing to bet that these teachers that seem perfect have a very small number of colleagues or friends to which they vent instead of spraying their strong feelings to a vast audience. And more times than not, these teachers are positive about PD and work continuously to improve in areas where growth is needed, acknowledging that growth will always be necessary.
Such should be the habits of all teachers. But many of us are quick to vent and, more than that, quick to vent to a wide audience that isn't always appropriate. Many of us also tend to search for the negative aspects of PD or staff meetings, to which others (for some unknown reason) find easier to agree with than dispute. So, yes, while the "perfect teacher" doesn't exactly exist, professional teachers do exist. It should be our daily goal to perfect our professionalism while also realizing that there is always room for learning and growth.
Myth Buster #2: Cuteness=Greatness
MYth Buster #3: It can all be done
Because there is no perfect teacher, then obviously there is no teacher that is truly able to get it ALL done. Teaching is hard and cumbersome. In fact, there will never be a "to-do list" we create that will have a final item. My "to-do lists" are filled with stars to designate the most pressing items to complete. It is also covered in pen scratchings and little side notes. That will never change. While many teachers have posted ideas for systems that "work", each of us may need to adjust those systems to meet our needs. Teaching is also cyclical in successes. In other words, we will always cycle through things that we do really well and things that take a backseat. I may get a kick-ass start (excuse the language, but I feel strongly about this myth) to grading papers and it may last a good, long while. But at the same time, something else is likely suffering because of my focus on a new system that works for me. AND THAT IS OKAY! It is the nature of education. If we expect any different, we are setting ourselves up for misery and the ultimate feeling of failure. It is important that we embrace the idea that we can never get it all "done" and do it all "well". We can rest in the fact, though, that we are not alone in this AND that others are gaining from our systems that have worked wonders and those that have failed.
What are other myths we could bust about teaching? Comment below!
Welcome! I am Casey Watts- Collaborative Leader and Culture Changer!