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Home Forums K-8 General Discussion Am I Doing Enough to Make a Difference?

Am I Doing Enough to Make a Difference?

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  • Brandi Jordan
    Teaching since: 1996
  • January 27, 2017 at 6:19 am

    A Really Good Teacher needs your advice!

    Kristi from Tennessee wrote in and asked:

    “How do you know if you’re doing enough to prepare your students for the next grade? I feel like between assessments and curriculum that’s ever changing, that I’m not doing enough to make a difference.  I’m afraid that I’m failing them and I don’t know how to cut through all of the bureaucracy and testing to get to the heart of learning.  Does anyone else feel this way? How do you get through it?”


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  • Classroom Teacher
    4th Grade
    Teaching since: 1994
  • January 29, 2017 at 10:46 am

    Let your student’s needs and level of mastery drive your instruction not curriculum. Reflecting on what they need to be successful lifelong learners is your task. You want to inspire and motivate not burn out or add to their frustration. At the end of the day think:”Did I give my students my very best specific/targeted instruction to help them reach their highest potential?”. If you can answer yes to that and always remember to prioritize and reflect on lessons learned and those positive approaches to failure, you will be okay.

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  • Special Education Teacher
    5th Grade
    New Jersey
  • February 2, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    First of all, the fact that you are even reflecting to ask yourself if you’re doing enough speaks volumes. Second of all, you are far from alone in this feeling! It is unfortunate, but many teachers (myself included) doubt themselves on if they’re doing enough or making a difference. In the big picture, just remember that students are more likely to remember how you made them feel than the math lesson on dividing decimals you taught today. If you are still concerned about the day-to-day, make sure you have a supportive team of teachers in place. If you already have a group, make sure it’s a “real team” and not “teacher cliques”– you want professionals that will pep talk you when you need it, but give you a reality check when you need that, too. Keep an open door policy and invite principals, supervisors, or coaches in to your room as well. It does wonders to send an email saying, “Hi there! In class we’ve been struggling with _____. Would you have time to spend 15-20 minutes in our room to hopefully provide some feedback?” Is it scary to open our doors? It sure can be! But in the end, we grow when we know. Those supervisors and coaches are to help you get there.

    Finally, I’ve really enjoyed educational blogger Ellie Herman. One of my favorite posts can be found here:

    Good luck!

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