Yes, the teaching profession is under attack and the problems are glaringly obvious. It’s not unusual to find teachers at the end of their ropes and this bears out in the vast number of teachers either leaving the profession or seeking greener pastures overseas.
If you are one of those that are being dragged down into negativity and hopelessness that things will never change, it’s time to fight back!
Oh yes!! Teaching is awesome.
Do you remember the sound of “oooooohhh” when your learners finally “got it”? Or those special relationships with learners of the years? Or the realisation that what you’re doing is much bigger than yourself? If you’re feeling worn out and discouraged, here are a few tips to reconnect with your purpose and role. Read on and be inspired!
Revisit your purpose
Research tells us that a purpose in life is crucial to our overall well-being. So, remind yourself why you became a teacher. No doubt it wasn’t for the money or recognition! Revisit your story and remember your calling. Ask yourself:
- What attracted me to education?
- How do I want my learners to remember me?
- What does teaching fulfil in me?
Make a list of all the good
Really think about this one because if you are exhausted and feeling like you are drowning you may tend to just be overwhelmed by what is wrong.
What went right today?
Think about what your learners achieved. Maybe it could be as simple as a quiet student finally plucking up enough courage to ask a question! Delight in your successes and throw a party 😊 Focus on enjoying your learners and making connections.
Concern yourself with what you can control
Just decide not to get worked up about all those mandatory things that you dislike so much. Refuse to let the curriculum changes, class size, unruly learners, admin or anything else get under your skin. Resist the urge to moan and complain as this only makes you feel worse. This is a tough one, but the benefits will be obvious. Accept what’s out of your control and move on. This is resilience!
Surround yourself with like-minded teachers
We can’t do this alone. Plain and simple. So, nurture positive friendships. You can do sport together or meet to mark books and chat at a coffee shop. You could also do a course together and earn those CPTD points. The goal is that you reach out, especially when times are tough. Don’t retreat into a black hole.
Find a passion outside of school
Now we know that our learners think that we have no life apart from teaching…but we do! Find something that really gives you joy and that has nothing to do with school. We all need things that refresh and rejuvenate us so that we can carry on giving out best.
And remember what a weekend is for…leisure! No matter what week you have had, shake it off and have a great weekend or at least day off.
Always remember that teaching is a wonderful profession with challenges that can be handled. We want to help children succeed because we care. Yes, teaching is more difficult now that it was a few years ago, but keep at it. Finding your love for teaching again can be challenging especially if you are overwhelmed, so employ some of these tips and you will hopefully find the fire rekindled.