Do you know thy impact? Have you ever thought of thy impact?
Many teachers, including me, reflect daily on the impact they leave on their students both in and even outside the classroom. According to John Hattie (2009), the creator of the Eight Mind Frames of Teaching, “Teacher/leaders believe that their fundamental task is to evaluate the effect of their teaching on students’ learning and achievement” (p. 3). Educators often believe that success lies in the students themselves. We often hear that the students are high achieving; they put in the extra effort; they completed the work and the extra practice. Yet, what we forget to mention is that educators have an impact on that students’ work ethic, and it is those educators that prep those students to conquer their work.
Think about it, how much impact do educators play in the success of the student? Teachers do not credit themselves enough for the impact they have on each and every student that comes in their classroom every day.
People frequently mention that success is all about who teaches where and how. It’s about what teachers know and do (p. 3). Yet, what if someone were to say, “It is not about what teachers know and do but rather about what they think” (p. 3).
A teacher’s mind is like running a marathon—it just keeps going and going. At one point though a teacher’s mind focuses. When fifty eager eyes are staring at you, the sage on stage, teacher mode sets in and you begin to concentrate on the learning-taking place; the learning that you impacted. The ‘master lesson plan’ no longer matters; but rather, the impact that we have on our students and their learning takes precedence (p. 4).
So teachers, I leave you with a challenge. Stop and listen. Reflect. Silence your mind.
Listen to the sounds of your empty classroom; listen to the sounds of your rambunctious students. Listen to their complaints; listen to their laughter. Listen to their mistakes; listen to their successes. Listen.
Reflect on your students; reflect on yourself. Reflect on your faults; reflect on your feats. Reflect.
When all is said and done, pack up your bags, turn off your lights and smile. It is in this moment of silence—this quick water break in your marathon—where you will learn where to go next. You will see thy impact. You may not see thy impact today or tomorrow. Nor may you see thy impact in years to come. Yet, you are impacting each student in some way with every correction you make, every ear you lend, and every smile you give.
Teaching is all about one’s mindset; a positive mindset is contagious. Teaching is about passion; a passionate teacher can ignite the spark to a passionate learner. Teaching is accepting the unknown; the unknown empowers infinite learning.
Teaching is knowing thy impact.
Zegarac, G. (2013). Know Thy Impact: Teaching, Learning and Leading. In Conversation , IV (2), 18.