Have you ever asked yourself “what am I avoiding as a teacher?”
If you’re a teacher, it’s a really powerful question to ask yourself. It’s not often that we get a chance to sit and reflect on what we are avoiding in our day to day routine.
What does task avoidance look like for Teachers?
Task avoidance will look different to different teachers. It could be something as simple as a sensory defence that we haven’t realised or potentially a subject we lack knowledge in.
Personally, I couldn’t stand using chalk on a black board. I would have to focus on overcoming that screeching sound and then have students ask question. I really appreciate stepping into a new classroom with a white board. The sandpit was where I used to really struggle when I was working in early childcare and studying my first degree. I hated the feeling of gritty sand between my toes but you have to use the sandpit with toddlers, there’s no way around it.
Task avoidance could also look like procrastination.
We all do it but procrastination is our biggest alarm bell when it comes to teacher task avoidance. It might be report cards, assessment, teaching grammar (like it is for me) or mathematics.
Procrastination is our mind feeling overwhelmed. It’s a great time to become aware of your task avoidance and see procrastination in a positive outlook for teacher meaningful mindfulness.
As we become aware of what we are avoiding as teachers, we start to have a self awareness of our strengths and weaknesses. This is really powerful in creating a changeable mindset to teaching and I want to make this point clear. The better our understanding of how we think impacts powerfully on our own students self awareness and growth mindset.
Becoming self aware of our teacher avoidance habits, we start to realise what our students are avoiding and why they are avoiding it.
Teacher Self Efficacy
Teacher avoidance creates low self efficacy (low self-confidence). Statistically, low self efficacy in teachers create low self efficacy in students. This has a flow on effect in lowering learning outcomes and information processing.
I don’t want you to feel negative about teacher avoidance tasks like procrastination or sensory input. Even if you hate grammar as much as I do. It’s about learning to ask yourself “why am I avoiding this?”
Recognition of task avoidance is the first key step in changing your mindset. Seeing yourself as a learner even as a teacher, is an even greater strategy. You can view this at home “what am I avoiding?” At school, “what are you avoiding?” Or with your own children.
I want to encourage you to take a moment to write down what tasks you avoid as a teacher. Then think through why your avoid them? View this in a positive way so that you can move through task avoidance and not be held back by your old mindset.
Keep up the awesome work!
Written By Sarah Courtney