3 Questions That Determine a Successful Teacher

January 16, 2023 by Andrea “Lynn” Ayers

Dear New Teacher,
If you are reading this, then congratulate yourself and do something nice for yourself.
You have made it through the first half of your first year. You might be questioning whether you
will survive the second half. Take heart, you will make it. Will you make mistakes? Of course
you will, but isn’t that how we learn? See your mistakes for what they are – opportunities to
learn. Teachers are lifelong learners.

A wise mentor shared with me three questions to ask myself to determine
whether or not I had a successful day. I keep them posted in my room at my desk for those days
when the mistakes seem more numerous than the successes. I encourage you to post them
where you will see them every day, and if you can answer yes to all of them, you can go home
knowing you’ve had a good day and that you were the best teacher!

  1. Do they know they are loved?
  2. Do they know they belong?
  3. Do they want to come back tomorrow?

Notice how none of the questions asked if you completed every lesson, if you turned in
the correct report, if you entered all your grades, or anything about you. All the questions
focused on the students. A good teacher builds relationships with students first. John Maxwell
once said, “They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Having
trouble with a student? Try to make a connection with him/her/them. Find out what he/she/they enjoy. Make a point to sit with him/her/them at lunch. I promise it will make a difference. Work on building those
relationships and the rest will fall into place. You’ve got this!

Andrea “Lynn” Ayers is a teacher mentor and 4th year third grade teacher. She received her undergraduate degree from Lee University and her Master’s degree from Anderson University.

The Elevating Teachers blog is a platform designed to elevate educator voices. It’s a space to share stories and tips for maintaining a sense of purpose and wellbeing in and out of the classroom.

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