When I posted on twitter that my goal for 2014 was to be more fierce, I received many questions wanting an expansion of this idea. When we typically think of fierce, we think of the predatory version of the word. In a sense, that’s true but let’s focus on the underlying emotion behind fierceness for a moment.
fi(ə)rs/(of a feeling, emotion, or action) showing a heartfelt and powerful intensitysynonyms: aggressive, intense, strong, relentless, ass-kicking, powerful, passionate, impassioned
Fierceness in the Classroom
If you want to be more fierce, start it where it counts most…in your classroom. I’ve seen too many teachers succumbing to the “requirements” of school and not enough standing their ground and doing what they knew was best for their students. For example, last year there was a “norm” in my school that every teacher had to teach the exact same lesson to the script. It didn’t matter who the students were, every instructional piece had to be identical. They even had PLC where these lessons were planned out. What that meant was that the classes with instructional support received the exact same lesson as the classes with language support which were the same as the classes that needed “no additional support”.
True learning comes through experience and not every child has the same one. Individualization is so important and if you do nothing else this year…fight for that.
It doesn’t matter if your classroom is full of 5 year olds or 35 year olds, the same ideology applies…
Stand up, be firm and demand that your classroom is a place where true magic happens. Then, take it out of your classroom and stand for the voice of the teacher. You have the power to do that but it means not allowing yourself to be walked over and stepped on in the process.
On A Personal Note
Being fierce for me is about owning who I am and my own success. You can be a classroom teacher, instructional support person or even an administrator and have your own goals. If you don’t…you should. One of the steps that I’ve made is to be fierce about taking care of my physical and emotional self just as much as my academic self. Taking a lesson from my friend Greg Garner (@classroom_tech) I schedule “me time” in my day to exercise, reflect and sometimes read. The funny part of this advice is that it came from a place of being more productive, but I heard him from a deeper perspective and in that moment I realized that I was selling myself short at not fully taking care of ME.
As you move on with creating your resolutions and preparing to promise to follow them “this time”…consider how small everyday thoughts can influence you deep within.
Be Fierce today, tomorrow, next week and this time next year. As you reflect on your day, think about the actions that you took to be more fierce than the previous.
My goal is simple…Be More Fierce Today than Yesterday