Challenge yourself to make a difference; do things differently

Having read an interesting article this week about not being a boring teacher, I think a huge amount can be gained by us examining the way we do things either as educational leaders and / or as teachers. What strikes me is that so often I hear teachers say that that students must challenge themselves or students should strive to be lifelong learners, yet all too often those same teachers do not demonstrate these important qualities to their students. One thing is for sure, we must not be complacent in what we do or accept double-standards; our students deserve much more than that.


Think about these questions:

When was the last time you taught a lesson differently?

When did you last try to use a different technology app with students?

When did you last change the way you presented something to your team?

When was the last time you did something silly in front of students?

When was the last time you took a risk that did not work out but you tried again later?

When was the last time you read an educational article and tried to apply some of the ideas in your own school?


If you are able to give recent examples in answering the above questions, then you are well on the road to showing your students that you are wishing to push the envelope in your classroom, you may even be inspiring your students and your colleagues to give new things a try rather than let things go stale. Even if you are a teacher who gets great results with your students, what more can the students get from you that will serve them well later in life?


We must that accept that, as educators, we are also learners whose work is never finished. There is always improvement to be made and if we really want to do things in the same way time and time again, then what sort of a message are we sending. The only constant in education is change, so embrace that challenges that change brings. Be different from time to time.

Published by Richard Bruford

Richard is currently Secondary School Principal of Suzhou Singapore International School, one of China's leading international schools. He leads workshops across the Asia-Pacific region for the International Baccalaureate in the areas of pedagogical leadership and approaches to teaching and learning. Richard consults with schools on the topics of school improvement and effective implementation and use of technology. With a background in public and independent school education in the UK and Australia, Richard is enjoying his international school adventure in China. He is passionate about developing and supporting educational leaders, as it is essential to improving all schools. Richard is a proud family man and feels lucky to be married to Kim and father of their son Austin. In his spare time Richard enjoys to swim, bike and run and is a now retired football player and coach (with occasional guest appearances)

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: