The ONE Thing …

The other day, I was speaking to a friend that’s just graduating from the Faculty of Education. She asked me, “What’s the one skill that you think you need in order to be a successful teacher?” I think that it’s a challenge to pick just one skill, but if I had to choose, I think it would be patience.

  • Patience to help solve problems and to let students solve their own.
  • Patience to work through the tears and eventually see the smile.
  • Patience to soothe anger and help students realize that everything really will be okay.
  • Patience to try to explain concepts in many different ways to many different students.
  • Patience to hear all of the happy stories (even when time is limited).
  • Patience to do up the shoelaces, put on the snow pants, and find the missing belongings. Can you tell that I taught primary for 11 years?  🙂
  • Patience to hear all sides of the story.
  • Patience to always give “wait time,” even when that time seems to be forever.
  • Patience to always multi-task even when you wonder if it’s possible to do one more thing at the same time.

I’ll admit: some days, I’m more patient than others. Some days, I find myself getting angry or upset. Some days, I need to walk away, take a deep breath, and give myself a little time so that I can really be there for the students (because they deserve that). Some days, I need to remind myself that I’m lucky to do the job that I love: I’m lucky to teach! I’m not perfect, but I do see the value in patience, and I will forever try to be better at this.

How do you remain patient? How would you answer my friend’s question? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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