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66. What do you Want to be Remembered for?

Are you grappling between putting emphasis on your students’ social-emotional development or on academics?

We’ve struggled with this a lot.

Our curriculum is ginormous, there is so much to cover academically that there literally aren’t enough hours in the school year to get through it all. When we think of this, it makes us want to buckle down and just teach teach teach in our best effort to get it all done.

But the reality of the brain and learning is clear – students can’t learn new things until their emotions are in check, their brains are turned on and they’re in the right state for learning and remembering. So what is the point of jumping right into academics if our students aren’t even absorbing it?

Furthermore, we question what’s most important and what our true role as a teacher is in our current society. Is it more important that our students know and have memorized the parts of a tree or that they are able to face life’s challenges with ease and become good citizens in our world?

We don’t have the answer.

The answer has to come from each individual teacher based on what they believe is their role, the mark they want to make in the world.

BUT we do have awesome guiding questions to help you explore this topic and find the answers within yourself.

We encourage you to grab a journal and write down your thoughts on the following questions to help you find clarity on the social-emotional or academics balancing act.

Reflect on the teachers, coaches and adults you had in your childhood.

What do you remember them for? Why were they important in your development? What did they do or say that impacted you. Why do they stand out in your memory over all the other adults in your life? How did they make you feel and why was that feeling important?

Now, reflect on notes your students have shared with you or things they’ve said to you or about you.

Is there something about how you teach or how you run your classroom that your students appreciate? What makes you stand out to your students?

Now, explore your values as a teacher.

How do you want your students to feel when they’re in your classroom? What skills do you want them to have gained by the end of their time with you? What values do you want them to have learned from you? Think of your students when they’re 35, what do you want them to remember about you and have learned from you that helps them in their adult life?

Finally, read over what you’ve written and complete this sentence:

I want my students to remember me for _______________________.

Check in with your teaching practices from time to time and notice if you are staying true to your values.

Let us know below what you want to be remembered for!

With calm and appreciation,

Kailey and Josianne

Dive deeper into this topic by listening to the following episode of The Balanced Educator Podcast:

If you want your students to remember you for teaching them how to live mindfully, click here to get our Introduction to Mindfulness module for free.

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