I had a conversation with a fellow teacher the other day about a previous student who had just graduated. My colleague spoke of the student as if he was on a crash course. This particular student, let's call him Fred (protecting the innocent), was thriving. He started his own business and was creating content on his social media channels. Fred was also taking some classes at a local community college while grinding in his business.
My colleague seemed agitated about how Fred was doing. He said that Fred was “going to fast and was going to fail soon.” I encouraged my colleague to tell me more about Fred. He continued that Fred came to visit him earlier in the week and was way to “arrogant in his ways.” He said if Fred was his son, he would knock him into reality. As I listened to my colleague, I began to understand what my colleague was saying. He was jealous of Fred’s accomplishments and success.
I know Fred very well. Fred had a hard life growing up. Fred had to fight for everything in high school. Fred was a non-traditional student. After high school, Fred kept in contact with me and we worked together on his craft. Fred became a master of his craft and is now in the stages of gaining clients through networking. To put it simply, Fred is working his ass off. Along the way, Fred learned not to give a crap about haters or what they say about him. Fred simply grinds and hustles. My colleague is waiting for Fred to fail. I encourage Fred to fail. Fred learned how to cope with failure and learn from it. He learned how not to be stifled by failure. Fred understands how to find the opportunity in everything. My colleague does not see this part of Fred and wishes Fred will be knocked down a level. My colleague can't see that success comes from finding opportunity in everything. My colleague is a hater.
The point of this blog is to understand as a teacher, many of your students are going to be better at things than you are. If you deny this, you are fooling yourself. Realize that you can’t control everything in your classroom. If you try to control everything you will become a hater. You will stop learning from happening. The moment you understand that students can and likely will do things better and faster than you, you will become a great teacher. Share learning with your students. Don’t force learning on students. Get out of the way of your student and facilitate their learning. “Hater” teachers are the worst kind. Don’t be one.