7 Ways to Help Keep Your Passion For Teaching Alive
None of us would teach if it wasn’t our absolute passion! However, that doesn’t prevent us from having days (or even weeks, or months!) when we’re feeling uninspired and less than enthused. Read on to see how we’re breaking out of our “lulls” and giving our students the passion and care they deserve.
1. ) Remember what makes you happy at work
Sometimes, all it takes to refresh your mind, body, and spirit is to think of the good things. If you’re having a so-so day, try to remember all of the things at school that bring you joy. It could be a really thoughtful or kind parent, or a student that said something particularly sweet. We all have a work friend that we can lean on for advice, or even just silly gossip. Leave yourself a special “go-to” self care reward in your desk, like a luxurious smelling lotion or essential oils to help get you back on track.
2.) Put things in perspective
The grass isn’t always greener. As an educator myself, the very first school I worked at had a beautiful yard right outside my classroom where I could take the children to play, dig in the soil, interact with nature, and just enjoy the fresh air. Outdoor learning became an integral part of my curriculum. Then, the school underwent construction. I became flustered and “uninspired” by the lack of outside time. Recently, I visited a school in a rough neighborhood. I was stunned to learn they couldn’t even go near the classroom windows, for fear of stray bullets. This served as an instant “gratitude check”. Make sure you’re doing the same for yourself, and focus on what you have, rather than what you don’t have.
3.) Try Something new
Been wanting to try mindfulness in the classroom, for yourself or for your kids? Thinking about pairing up music with language arts to drive home literacy themes? Give it a whirl! Applying yourself to a new endeavor will bring excitement and energy to your lull. Get your class and students involved by asking them what’s going on in their personal lives, by starting up an old school “show and tell”.
4.) Rearrange your classroom
Treat yourself and your students to a classroom redesign! You can even collaborate with the children on furniture arrangements, color, seating, and more! Allow them to help by planning a theme. They can map out the classroom, create decorations, or even come up with designated “areas” to display work they’re proud of. This small shake up can make a big difference in the overall mood of your learning environment.
5.) Read about your hero
Read a book, literature, or even just a speech or interview from an educator or leader that inspires you, and relight that teaching fire. Some of our favorites include Anne Sullivan, Maya Angelou, and Fred Rogers. Hearing their words of wisdom could be the push you need to find your passion.
6.) Never stop being a student yourself
Professional development is one thing, but when was the last time you sought out a continuing education course that actually interests YOU? Luckily, the internet is filled with all sorts of free webinar sessions on niche subjects that might speak to you personally. Think outside the box and dive into a subject that you’ve been meaning to learn more about.
We know, as a teacher, you do enough work for free. BUT sometimes, doing good, on your own time, in other settings could be just what you need. Participate in a local park cleanup that benefits local children, or put together a book drive to help out a school or teacher (besides yourself!) that’s in need. There’s no feeling quite like giving back!