Recapture Your Love for Teaching
February 28, 2022
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.” – Mark Twain
Many of you are probably familiar with this quote from Mark Twain. It’s certainly a nice thought, but every teacher knows it’s not exactly true. While many of us did join the profession because we loved teaching, it’s still work! The last few years have made it abundantly clear how even passionate educators can find themselves burnt out, overwhelmed, or questioning their resolve. This isn’t likely to change anytime soon either!
The landscape of education is always shifting. These days, teachers need to be ready for anything, and many of us have felt our fire for education beginning to cool. So, what can we do to recapture that spark? Well, we can start by letting go of the things we can’t control. Evaluations, class size, political strife, COVID protocols, none of these are up to you. Instead, focus on building support with strategies designed to maximize your mental and emotional well-being.
A Few Thoughtful Ideas
Here are a few strategies to help you reignite your passion if you’re beginning to feel stretched too thin:
- Give Yourself Grace: Showing self-compassion is the act of being kind to yourself and realizing that suffering, imperfections, and failures are part of being human. Consider creating a Grace Journal where you record incidents that leave you feeling frustrated or inadequate. Then write a few sentences to yourself from the perspective of a caring and compassionate friend. You can also create a list of everything that makes you feel energized and use it as a resource when feeling low.
- Practice Mindfulness: Being more aware of the present can help us acknowledge our thoughts without judgment. Rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future, create moments where you can reflect on the here and now. For example, mindful walking is an easy way to practice being in the present. Next time you are on a walk, pay attention to how your legs and feet feel each time you make contact with the ground. If your mind starts to wander, gently bring in back to the present. Another great strategy to help calm your thoughts and practice mindfulness is 4-Square Breathing technique. This involves breathing in for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds, breathing out for 4 seconds, and hold for 4 seconds again.
- Set YOUR Goals: It is so easy to lose sight of your personal and professional goals as demands of the day-to-day take priority. Remember that your profession is also about you and what makes you tick as a teacher. Seek out PD opportunities that matter to you and find like-minded educators on social media who will provide a supportive environment. For more intentional goal-setting, consider using the SMART Goal protocol to create specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals.
- Be YOU and Have Fun!: Strange as it may sound, you are the source of your own passion. Don’t try to be something you are not. Find what you are passionate about and use that as a source of motivation. Bring in props when covering a specific subject or dress up when discussing a character from history. Play games that will get your students engaged and give them a new perspective on a familiar subject. And remember to laugh! Curate funny memes/videos and find time in your day to take a “Laugh Break.”
Ignite Your Resolve
If you found these strategies helpful, please be sure to check out our latest webinar for even more free resources. Remember, you are not alone in this journey, and even when things seem out of your control, there’s still much that you can do. I’m confident that educators can overcome any obstacle when we work together to support one another. So, remember to be kind to yourself in the coming months. Sometimes all we need is a little support to reignite the fire of teaching!
*This blog was created with information supplied by Terra Tarango.