by: Maekeda Binns
Success is not the absence of failure; it is the persistence through failure- Aisha Tyler
As educators not all of our methods will work within our classrooms, some of the methods we employ may fail or may not have a positive impact on the students. Our world is changing frequently and the methods or technology we use within our classrooms must match the world around us. To have a classroom that supports and facilitates the students learning goals we must conduct trial and error with different classroom methods. In the trial and error process, there will be failed attempts from trying one method or another until something succeeds. Persistence can be defined as continuing to exist past the usual time or continuing to do something in a determined way even when facing difficulties or opposition (Cambridge dictionary, 2019).
Why is persistence important?
Being an educator is so fulfilling and beautiful, although many of our journeys are different, we have common a goal and that is to positively impact the lives of our students so that they can reach their full potentials. Many times, I ask educators why you chose to become a teacher? and excitingly I get the response “teaching chose me, the way was already created for me to become a teacher.” I know educators who have been teaching for over 30 years and they have faced a lot of difficulties within their classrooms, but they persisted even though many times they failed in their classroom approaches or how they handled a situation but did they give up? No! I know that as teachers we get overwhelmed with the balance between our daily lives and classroom duties, but we have to continue doing the job we were created to do. Nothing in life comes easy but the true beauty of our journey is revealed when we can jump over hurdles and break barriers to ensure our students are achieving and that as teachers we are holistically developing.
A world that is changing
The world around us changes fast and technology has been integrated more into classrooms to facilitate learning at all levels. For some educators, it may take a while to familiarize themselves with ongoing technological changes while others will adopt easily. With all these various changes and applying them into our classrooms, we must continually try new methods to enhance learning and teaching outcomes. Persistent teachers are seen as problem solvers in the classroom and also in their daily lives. Teacher persistence helps foster effective teaching. Specifically, teacher persistence may promote high expectations for students (Wheatley,2002).
In 2018 I was on my 3rd-year practicum/work experience at a High school in Jamaica, during my tenure I had to utilize many methods such as making songs, poems and charts, etc. so that all the students were able to grasp the content. Even though I had numerous challenges sourcing the materials for classes weekly I still ensured that the students learning goals were being met. I was determined to transform my class into a powerful science classroom. On the last day of my teaching experience, one of my students gave me a heartfelt letter about her improvement in science and that her classes were fun. Two of the most important things I got from the letter are; 1. The importance of being persistent within the classroom with various teaching methods and 2. The courage to go above and beyond for our students because they notice and appreciate our hard work even though some of the students may not say it.
Persistence is one of the many keys to success within the classroom it is the chance of taking many steps and if one step does not work it is up to us as teachers to take more steps until our goals for our students and our classrooms are met. New technology is being implemented into our world every day and many of our students interact with these new technologies. As teachers, we must try our best to implement some of these technologies into our classrooms to assist with learning goals and student participation within our classrooms.
Educators keep shinning and be persistent in your classrooms! We are changing the stigma attached to education.
Dictionary, o. (2019). Persistence Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary. [online] Dictionary.cambridge.org. Available at: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/persistence [Accessed 15 Jan. 2020].
Wheatley, Karl. (2002). Teacher Persistence: A Crucial Disposition, with Implications for Teacher Education. Essays in Education. 3.
Maekeda Binns is currently a Biology teacher in Florida. She recently graduated from Church Teachers’ College: Mandeville, Jamaica in 2019 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. Maekeda is a motivational speaker and an award-winning poet.
YouTube @Maekeda Binns