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The Comparison Game

One of my favorite things about being a teacher is working as a team and helping my colleagues rediscover the joy of teaching. I love to share ideas and resources because I want us all to win in our classrooms.

I am not competitive by nature and I am a firm believer that we all have the gifts and talents we need to be the teacher we are meant to be. We have everything we need to meet the needs of the students that are entrusted to us.

I follow a lot of Instagram teachers who I look up to and admire. I learn from them and am always striving to be a better teacher. As teachers, we are always learning, growing, and perfecting our craft.

This week, I have had a couple of conversations with fellow teacher friends that have broken my heart. It is human nature to measure our successes against our colleagues or even worse, against the unrealistic standards set by society. This never-ending quest to be "better" or "perfect" can take a toll on our mental well-being and often diminish our passion for teaching. Comparison is the thief of joy!

We have all been there at one point or another if we're being honest. This is a topic that has been heavy on my heart this week. I have been reflecting on some ways to break free from the grips of the comparison game and embrace our unique and individual teaching journeys.

First of all, we have to remember that we are all different. We have different teaching styles, personalities, and experiences and our classrooms are all different and have unique challenges and opportunities. Instead of trying to replicate someone else's success, focus on your strengths and embrace who you are!

Here are some strategies to overcome the comparison game.

  • Clarify your goals: Reflect on your personal teaching philosophy and the goals you have set for your students. Don't worry about what is going on down the hallway. Focus on your classroom and understand that your vision and your objectives may differ from others and that is okay! Stay focused on your own goals, you'll be less tempted to compare yourself to other teaches who have different aspirations than you.

  • Celebrate your successes: Don't overlook your own personal wins because you're too busy looking at others. Celebrate your own achievements, no matter how small. This helps you focus on having a positive mindset. Keep a journal to jot down your triumphs. Keep notes you receive from parents, students or colleagues. These will help remind you of how great an impact you have on those around you.

  • Seek Inspiration, Not Comparison: Don't compare yourself to others. Instead, seek inspiration from them. Collaborate with fellow educators, go to workshops and share ideas. Learning from other people helps you to grow as an educator without falling into the trap of comparison.

  • Continuously Grow: Teaching is a journey. Look for professional development opportunities that pertain to your specific needs. Focus on improving yourself and you'll be less preoccupied with comparing yourself to others.

  • Support and Encourage Colleagues: Your words are powerful and they impact your colleagues. Encourage and support by your words and actions. This will create a supportive and collaborative environment where everyone feels valued for their contributions. Lifting others up, creates a community of growth and positivity.

As teachers, we share the future. Our impact extends beyond our classroom walls. Escape the comparison game. Embrace our individual journeys. Celebrate your own strengths and others, continue to grow as the passionate educator you are. It's not about being the best teacher but about being the best teacher you can be. Escape the comparison game and rediscover the joy of teaching.

Happy Teaching!

Mrs. Simpson



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