Learning the art of self-motivation can be a struggle in the teaching industry. Being responsible for children’s learning doesn’t give you an opportunity to slack off on the job; but how do you stay on the ball when things start to feel overwhelming?
6 ways to keep productive:
Here are some tips to help you navigate your way through teaching so you can maintain a good work ethic.
1. Give yourself a break
In a job like this, it’s easy to use up all your energy at once, only to totally burn out. We all know that teaching might as well be a 24/7 job. Students may think they’re the only ones who get homework, but after a full day at school, we always seem to come home with at least a couple of hours’ worth of marking, planning or paper setting. Don’t forget to set aside ‘me-time’. Time for yourself is essential when trying to avoid exhaustion. So, take a moment to kick up your feet and just ‘do you’.
2. Remember why you became a teacher
Often when we are solely focused on getting the job done, we tend to forget why we are teaching in the first place. Don’t let your days become mundane. Rather remind yourself of the things you enjoy most about teaching. What passions drew you to this career path?
3. Reflect on your accomplishments
Teaching can be one of the most rewarding careers. When you start to feel like you might be losing momentum, remember all the things you have accomplished in the past and reminisce on how they made you feel. This will naturally motivate you to ‘pull up your socks’, as you are now working with a purpose.
4. Create a comfortable working space
They say your working environment is often a reflection of your mind. If throughout the year you find your working space becomes more and more chaotic, you might want to think about setting some time aside to re-organise. A cluttered desk is a cluttered brain.
5. Change it up
You’ll find that shaking things up now and again can be refreshing for your work energy. The truth is, you can get bored of working in the same environment every day. Why not change it up with a new desk layout, some new classroom posters, or reset the desks?
It’s also common practice to re-use your term plans when new students come in at the beginning of a year. It can feel repetitive if you’re teaching the same work every year. Consider going back to your planning and start changing up your teaching methods. You’ll notice your year starts to feel less like the movie Groundhog Day.
6. Set short-term goals
With a new setting in place and a fresh, positive mind, you are now able to focus on setting some goals. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with having long-term objectives, but if that’s all you have, it can seem pretty daunting. It’s a good idea to start looking at what your short-term goals are. These are targets you aim towards that are accomplishable within the near future. This can be something you want to reach within the next year or even something you want to achieve during your next lesson.
No more dull days or tedious lessons. Self-motivation is not as intimidating as it seems when you have the tools to face it. If you put in the effort to improve your surroundings and re-focus your mind, you’ll find the drive will come naturally.