This is a great reminder post about something teachers struggle with all the time – feeling drained. Hopefully, you will find these tips helpful so that you can get yourself back up and motivated once more! And for a bonus tip from me, make sure you read to the end. 😉 ~EMP
I used to be a teacher, and while it was an awesome career, I had kids and sadly, I wasn’t able to continue my career. While I may jump into it in the future, I’m pretty content working from home while I rely on my husband to pay most of the bills! Ha!
What I found with teaching and other professions is that burn out can happen fast, especially if you don’t have a supportive administration. Whether you’re a teacher feeling this burnout or are just curious what you can do to keep yourself going, here are 10 things I did to keep myself motivated:
#1 Be supportive
Learn your student’s interests, dreams, and hopes. Know what’s happening in their lives, and share some of your own stories with them. Encourage and support them in whatever they aim to achieve. Each individual you teach is truly unique!
#2 Have a fresh outlook
Teaching offers you the opportunity to start fresh every day. Even if you had a bad day, perhaps a lesson went badly or your students misbehaved, you can still start with a fresh outlook. Act friendly; smile, joke, and at times make light, supportive gestures to your students. Every day is truly a new day.
#3 Don’t give up
Be positive and encourage a growth mindset. Do not underestimate the effect of motivational and inspirational quotes to your students. Most successful teachers are motivated teachers, so set intentions every day and embrace things that inspire you.
#4 Set intentions
Have a plan or purpose in mind every day. Set what you want to achieve each day and include your students in your plans. Your intentions should be clear and make sure you do what you had planned to do. Setting intentions is a great way to motivate yourself every day you walk in the classroom.
#5 Try out something new or different
Normal routines can get boring, so to avoid this, try introducing something new to your students. Start every lesson familiarizing with your students and motivating them. Trying a different schedule, or breaking the routine to learn a new skill will keep you motivated and keep your students interested in what you introduce next. Check out The Inspired Classroom’s collection of posts containing new ideas and lessons.
#6 Manage your workspace
Teachers are able to control their workspace and make it more comfortable for them. Because of this, try to surround yourself with things that make you happy. This can include inspirational messages, special decorations or your family pictures. Try to create an environment that motivates you.
#7 Display your talents
Teachers can stay motivated by showing people what they are good at. Try showcasing your brilliant classroom ideas and crafts that you worked very hard to come up with. Connect and reconnect with old students, coworkers or new teachers and mentor them. All of these things are effective in motivating you to feel more confident in yourself, and in turn, make a difference in your student’s lives.
Each day, try to relax after you get home from work. Spend a few hours doing something you enjoy and try to forget about any type of school work. Relaxation will relieve the stress you built up during the day, making you more enthusiastic for the next.
#9 Don’t overwork yourself
Teaching more does not mean your students will learn more. Remember students often do not care about how fast you get things done. So, don’t burden yourself grading their tests overnight or spending your weekend planning lessons. Try doing things differently by setting a work schedule that does not interfere with your normal life.
#10 Learn to say no
One quick way to burn out is by overstretching yourself, especially if you are a new teacher. Teachers will ask you to assist them in their work, while your students will ask you to sponsor their clubs or come to their games. It is really important to learn to say no without feeling guilty or bad, but you have to do some practice to really get good at it.
#11 Bonus Attend Teacher-Centered PD
Having the opportunity to feed yourself personally as well as professionally is truly a gift. Consider attending a workshop where you will learn something new and get inspired so that you can be inspiring to your students. The Winter overnight Teacher Art Retreat might be just what you’re looking for!
If you’re not careful and kind to yourself, burnout is going to happen or it will be felt sooner or later. I hope these tips can help you, and if you have any you’d like to share, I would love to hear about them as well!
This was a guest post written by Stephanie Lynch, a former teacher who now freelance writes from home. You can find most of her work at Howmuchisit.org.