Encouraging the Team
It is easy to get discouraged any time you teach 13-18 year olds. They are typically not the best group of people to look to if you are hoping for everything to be rainbows and fluffy bunnies. When this is your first teaching experience, it is too easy to get discouraged. Because of this, one of the jobs we all shared was to encourage the other teachers …no matter what!
“No matter what,” you say? “What if they are actually doing a bad job,” you ask? It doesn’t matter.Truthfully, we needed our teachers to be at the top of their game, even if their game wasn’t that great.They needed to have a drive to do the best they could, and encouraging their positive contributions was an easy way to do that. That isn’t to say that our teachers weren’t good – because they were – but with every new teacher, every new location, every new experience, tough times come. How the teachers dealt with that time could determine how much the students learned, and that was an obvious concern of ours.
Every morning our day started with a time of discussion and encouragement. Every night we hung out and talked or played games. We wanted our teachers to know that what they were doing was good, even if they didn’t feel that way at the moment. Because what they were doing was good, in fact it was great. Even if their teaching wasn’t perfect, even if their leading of the discussions at night (Hi Lo time) didn’t go as planned, they were doing exactly what they came here to do. They were teaching English, having fun with the kids, and showing the students that people who have never even met them, care for them. It was my job to remind them that they were doing that job well!