Teaching will drive you crazy. Noisy and indisciplined children, extremely demanding administrators, and high expectations often leave the new teacher feeling overwhelmed. If we don’t keep ourselves in check and live balanced lives, the nuances of teaching will consume and devour us. Society portrays any actions or thoughts that focus on placing your needs first as being selfish and are, therefore, frowned upon. Teachers especially are expected to be the sacrificial lambs and consume all of their time and efforts with their students’ needs. Living in this way is a draining experience. It sucks the joy out of life and leaves you ill-prepared to deal with the demands of the classroom. Jada Pinkett-Smith posted a You Tube video in 2012 describing the importance of taking care of you first. Although she is speaking about her roles as a wife and mother, I believe that what she is saying in this video is highly applicable to teachers. Click this link to view the video.
As I mature in this profession I have grown to realize the importance of personal happiness. I’ve also begun to discover what it takes to achieve personal happiness. The following are some strategies I hope to employ next term in order to function better in the classroom.
Begin Your Mornings with Quiet Meditation
Meditation takes on a variety of forms. Whatever you choose to do, it is important to begin your day by clearing your head and embracing some positive thinking to face the day. I am often rushing in the mornings because I get up a tad bit too late. However, I am going to attempt to change this bad habit so that I am better equipped to face each day.
Eat Right and Exercise
Your health is of utmost importance. When your health fails, your boss will easily find someone to replace you. Take the time to eat healthy, balanced meals. Spend at least 15 minutes each day exercising. Don’t forget to take your vitamins. Your body will thank you for it and you will find that you rarely get sick. You will also find that you have more energy to deal with the rambunctious children in your class.
Carve out Some Me Time
Find time to do things that you enjoy. You can’t be so focused on work all the time. Relax. Take a breather. Enjoy life.
Advances in technology have resulted in us becoming technologically dependent individuals. We’re often glued to our phones scrolling through Facebook and Twitter. If we aren’t into our phones, we’re glued to our television screens or laptops. Find some time to unplug from the world and read a book. Reading opens your mind and helps you find a quiet center. Don’t focus exclusively on fictional books. Try to read some self-help books that will help you in both your personal and professional life.
Invest in Yourself
There is nothing exciting about a teacher’s salary. In fact, the amount teachers are paid covers expenses with just a tad bit leftover. Regardless, it is important for you to be wise with your money. Always pay yourself first before you begin to take care of your monthly expenses. Your dreams will become realities if you use this disciplined approach to saving.
It is possible to navigate the rugged teaching terrain with your sanity intact. Are there any other tips that you can think of that can help you be a happier teacher? Let me know by leaving a comment below.