How roadblocks can help you be a better teacher.

As a teacher or learner, what’s holding you back from accomplishing your goals? What obstacles keep you from progressing? What are your biggest struggles?

For me, there are few obstacles and roadblocks that hold me back from being a better teacher. First, my school does not promote any professional development. I do not get any time off to attend conferences or seminars and if I miss a class due to absence, I have to make it up at a later date, which is very inconvenient. Plus, my school’s Faculty Development department was just dissolved. No kidding.

Second, I feel like I have very few teachers to collaborate with at my school. Most teachers are busy with their own classes, and they may listen to my ideas, but there is very little back and forth to aid me in crafting better lessons for my students. I love batting around ideas with other teachers. It’s something I crave, and it energizes me while lesson planning. Not having collaborative partners is a big setback to me.

Third, time is a major obstacle. I would love to spend more time reflecting on my classes and blogging about my ideas, but it takes me a lot of time; more time than I really have. I can spend hours at my computer crafting a blog post. I will have an idea, begin to write it out, and then get stuck and feel the need to incubate the idea more. Before long, life happens, too much time passes, and the idea no longer seems relevant.

Lastly, and this one is all in my head, is the fear of failure or judgment. Putting ideas, blog posts, and my learning process out there takes courage. It’s easy for me to psych myself out of sharing something, writing something, or doing something because I think I’ll look foolish. The internet, to me, has an odd feeling of permanence that causes me to balk more often than I’d like to.

Those are the obstacles and roadblocks that I feel are holding me back. In an odd way, they’re all kind of connected. My lack of professional development and collaboration could be solved by sharing more online and building a better personal learning network. I just need to search the nooks and crannies to find more time to share my ideas and take that leap of faith.

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