Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Building Confidence & Humility

Hearing an early career teacher talk about her aspirations of becoming a principal reassured my optimism for the future of education…only then I heard experienced teachers say something along the lines of- ‘can you believe the level of confidence?’ and ‘get through your first five or ten years first’. I have previously encouraged early career teachers to present, only to hear the concern of what others would think. I‘ve blogged about the Tall Poppy syndrome, which is familiar to many Australians.  On the flip-side, I’ve known of early career teachers who believe that after their first year, they’ve ‘got this’. This is concerning as we all know teaching is never mastered but a continual learning process. I wonder if they want to appear confident and competent. And there lies that fine line between confidence and arrogance.

If we invest in our early career teachers through coaching, could we influence their confidence, while modelling humility? Arrogance in education has no place, but confidence on the other hand, is about trying to improve oneself, which is vital for all teachers and learners. It was inspiring to learn about the tall poppy campaign developed by the Australian Institute of Policy and Science. Young Tall Poppy Science Awards aim to recognise the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators. It is up to us to encourage, guide and inspire all our colleagues and I for one, would love to turn around the concept of the ‘Tall Poppy’ and make it a positive attribute of all teachers. Just imagine what more we could achieve, if we supported and promoted all our teachers, especially the early career teachers who enter this profession intrinsically motivated and enthusiastic.

Thanks for reading,

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