Be the Adult
As educators, it is our job to “be the adult” in every situation. In every interaction with the students in our care, it is our responsibility to control our words and actions. We need to be proactive to prepare for, and when possible avoid, challenging situations instead of blaming students, parents, community, or society. By accepting these obstacles, we can do our part to help students develop positive personality traits and behaviors. Educators need to be strong adults instead of victims. We need to work harder instead of making excuses. We need to model the confidence we want our students to develop.
Prepare for the Future
We are no longer preparing students to join an industrial workforce. Teachers are no longer the keepers of knowledge. Educators need to abandon outdated pedagogy and structures to prepare students for the future instead of the past. In order to empower students to contribute to a constantly changing world, educators need to learn and teach twenty-first century skills. This will require teachers to model the lifelong learning we hope to instill in our students by reading, participating in professional development, and building personal learning networks. We need to be brave enough to experiment and explore new tools and best practices with our students. We need to help our students develop the courage they will need to navigate the future.
Some students have the privilege of of growing up in diverse communities and accepting homes. But, even these students need to learn more than how to simply interact with people of varying demographics in their school, community, region, and even country. As educators who are preparing students to participate in an increasingly connected global society, it is our duty to help students develop at least an appreciation of all humans. We need to teach our students to move beyond simply speaking and behaving in a way that does not harm others. Educators are responsible to help our students begin to understand diverse cultures and see how these diverse perspectives can work together to solve problems. We need to help them develop characters kills that will empower them to contribute to a diverse global society.