As teachers, we fight so many important battles to help students become socially, academically, and emotionally ready for adulthood. Many times we act as educator, parent, social worker, and mediator. As hard as we work to help every student succeed, there are a couple of things I think we need to let go of. In my humble opinion, we shouldn't waste our energy on small, annoying little bits that cloud our busy days with negativity. Below are a list of things I think we need to NOT let get under our skin. I'd love to hear your opinions or additions to this list in the comment section below.
1. Electronics during non-instructional time: The local schools in my area have a very strict electronics ban at school. I could be wrong, but I think busting kids for texting between classes or checking instagram at lunch adds another impossible task to our already over burdened to-do list. Students must learn to use electronics responsibly and attend class without distraction, but to me, it's time to give a little electronic freedom back to students during non-instructional times. We have a lot more credibility when we try to control only that which can be controlled.
2. Bad "reviews". If you hear around campus that you are known as the uncool, hard teacher, take that as a compliment. We should be kind and fair, but we are not called on to be easy or cool. We are called on to teach.
3. Dress Code: There are some dress code violations that are very distracting and potentially unsafe (e.g. in a science lab). Those issues should be addressed. Minor dress code infractions should not take up space in our minds or minutes in our classrooms. If anything, refer it to the proper administrator and keep teaching!
4. Minor Attendance Issues: Major attendance issues must be dealt with according to the situation, but we can't drive ourselves crazy tracking down minor attendance problems. Let the attendance office handle it and move on.
5. Change: Everything changes. Whether it be curriculum, policies, hairstyles, language, or any other cultural or academic change, try not to get so caught up in the old way of doing things that you can't adapt.
Do you agree? What would you add to this list?