4 Ideas to Help You Fall Back in Love with Teaching
Were you bright-eyed, briming with excited energy, and ready to make a difference when you entered the field of education? Over time, have the responsibilities and challenges taken up so much of your time and energy that it feels like you cannot focus on what is truly important? Are you just trying to survive until the weekend? Until the end of the day? You are not alone. A national teacher survey in 2022 revealed 90% of educators had experienced burnout. We want to help you rekindle your love for teaching! Here are four ideas to help you get started:
- Remember your Why
- Celebrate small successes
- Reevaluate your boundaries
- Reframe student behaviors
Remember your Why
Think back to why you got into education. How often do you think about that? Did you know that teachers usually make at least 1,500 decisions each day? There is even debate among experts as to whether this is a significant underrepresentation given modern technologies and the increasing ask for social-emotional learning for their students. The critical thinking and awareness in the moment needed to make all of these decisions can lead to decision fatigue and make it hard to keep in mind our bigger picture. When we forget about our passions and our why, or reason for going into education, it can feel less rewarding. Be intentional in setting time to think about why you wanted to be in education and the impact you want to have. It might just make those 1,500+ decisions a little easier each day!
Celebrate small successes
Successes and failures happen every day in education. There is this tricky cognitive bias often referred to as the negativity bias that means, starting at a very young age, our brains tend to pay more attention to negative information than positive information. So, our brains are more likely to pay attention to those failures in our school day than to the successes. Make a point to notice and celebrate successes throughout your day, no matter how small. Even better, help students celebrate their small successes too!
Reevaluate your boundaries
Have you been given platitudes about setting healthy boundaries at work and practicing self-care while still being expected to give anything in the name of it being good for students? Boundaries and self-care are often much easier to talk about than to put into practice. What if we started thinking about boundaries differently? What if it meant getting support that allows you to do less? What if it meant that you could ask someone a question rather than researching it in the evenings or weekends? Creatively Focused supports schools in transforming what educator support looks like. Learn more about axis3 and start a free trial of axis3 Connect today!
Reframe student behaviors
Many schools have reported an increase in student challenging behaviors since reopening after pandemic caused school closures and it is leading many teachers to feel burnt out. Maybe you have felt this too. Challenging behaviors can disrupt learning and trigger teacher stress responses. They can also feel deeply personal. Reframing challenging behaviors as the result of missing skills supports a solution for minimizing those behaviors (identifying and teaching the missing skills) and can help to make the behaviors feel less personal (because they are never personal!). Enroll in Trauma-Informed Behavior Prevention and Response Strategies, an online self-paced course, to learn more strategies for reframing and supporting student behavior.
Teaching takes both brain work and heart work and some days it can feel like it takes more than it gives. When we keep our passion that led us to education in mind, focus on frequent small and big successes, get creative with how we set and think about boundaries, and find ways to support ourselves and students with challenging behaviors, we can allow our cups to be filled and our passion to be renewed! You can and are making a difference! You are valued. You are connected. You are an expert.
Written by Kalin Schoephoerster, Instructional Designer & Licensed Special Education Teacher