Step #2 To Be An Unconventional Teacher

Step #2: Align your beliefs, values and dreams with your teaching philosophy

Let’s face it: teaching for most of us is our life. I rarely meet teachers who do not think about, plan for, and reflect on their profession almost every waking moment of the day. This is a double edge sword. On one hand, our unconditional and unwavering commitment to our craft helps drive student and engagement while on the other hand we tend to burn out quickly. 


Burn out leads to one of two things: 1) We stay in the profession and become disheartened and maybe disillusioned to our main and original goals or 2) We depart from the profession altogether. 


This is where Step #2 of being an unconventional teacher comes into play! Much like Step #1, Step #2 involves inward Teacher reflection. Both of these first two steps, furthermore, never stop being of highest importance either.


Align your beliefs, values, and dreams with your teaching philosophy. I will explore this idea by sharing with you what I try to do to do this. 


  1. I meditate and center myself as much as possible. I use the Headspace app and find that when I spend time getting my mindset calm that my decisions in my classroom are more sound. 

  2. Although difficult, I try to keep my values of kindness to all and respect to all centered in my classroom and the way I treat others in life and at school.

  3. I try to ask other people what they value and what their beliefs are so that I might add to or take away my own approach to my values and beliefs.

  4. I keep pictures of and notes from previous classes and students to remind me that this is a marathon worth running.

  5. I follow other educational leaders, blogs, and podcasts to participate in the current dialogue and continually learn from others not in my direct community.

  6. Each year I tweak and add to and take away things from my teaching philosophy as I am not the same teacher I was 13 years ago and my students this year are not the same students as previous years.

  7. I know that I am not perfect and I will make mistakes because philosophy does not always translate to reality.


Helpful Articles & Resources:


  1. Writing a teaching philosophy (Western University)

  2. Mindfulness for a teacher (Greater Good Science Center Magazine)

  3. Headspace app (guided meditation and mindfulness practice)

  4. 6 Paths to be a more authentic teacher (Faculty Focus)

  5. Edutopia (the mothership of all things education related)

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