Why Love Involves Teaching
How to Love Teaching
Teaching can be an extremely rewarding career, but it can also be disappointing and stressful sometimes. If your love of teaching has diminished recently, then you may benefit from taking some time to reflect on your situation. You might also find it helpful to find ways to stay positive on the job and reduce your stress and workload. By making some subtle adjustments, you may find yourself loving teaching again.
Examining Your Feelings About Teaching
Write down what bothers you about teaching.If you have been feeling dissatisfied with your job lately, then you might find it helpful to identify what is causing you to feel this way. Try making a list of everything that you dislike about your teaching job. Include small and big things on your list.
- For example, you might list something like having to deal with a particular student’s parent, which might only happen a few times every month, or something like grading, which is a more regular part of your job.
- Try ranking the items on your list from most frustrating to least frustrating by placing numbers next to them. For example, if grading is the most frustrating part of your job, then you could place the number 1 next to it.
Make a list of all of the things you enjoy about teaching.After you have created your list of what you do not like about teaching, make a second list about what you do like. Making this list can help you to see if the positive aspects of your job are outweighing the negative aspects. It can also help you to identify things that might make teaching more enjoyable for you.
- Include minor and major things on this list as well. For example, you might include something small, such as seeing a student’s face light up when he or she grasps a new concept. Or, you might include something that you do every day, like reading aloud to your students.
- You might even rank this list as well to get an idea of what aspects of teaching are the most enjoyable for you. That way, you can look for ways to incorporate more of these enjoyable activities.
Identify the secondary advantages.You may also enjoy some secondary benefits of teaching that are making the job a positive thing for you. Secondary benefits are those that are related to your job, but that are not part of teaching specifically. Make a third list where you identify and list all of the secondary benefits that you enjoy because of working as a teacher.
- Include anything that you see as a secondary benefit of teaching. These may include things like great coworkers, a good healthcare plan, and summers off.
Reflect on how your attitude towards teaching has changed.Sometimes something will change in a workplace or in your personal life that can affect the way that you feel about your job. If you have been teaching for a while, then it might be helpful to look at what has changed recently and consider whether that might be affecting the way you feel about your job.
- For example, you might have recently had a baby and feel sad about not being able to spend as much time with the baby as you’d like. Or, you might have switched to a different grade level and be having a hard time adjusting to the differences in your older or younger students.
- Note anything that has changed since you stopped enjoying teaching. This may help you determine what you can do to improve your situation.
Use your lists to help you identify ways to improve your situation.All of the things you have listed about what you love, hate, and appreciate about teaching may help you to find a way to love your job again. Review the lists and pay special attention to the items that are most and least enjoyable to you. Try to think of ways that you can use this information to appreciate your job more.
- For example, if you identified that you enjoy reading aloud to your students, then you might try to incorporate more of this into your teaching.
- If you identified that you dislike speaking with a certain student’s parent, then you might talk with your supervisor about the problems you have been having and ask for advice on dealing with the parent.
Engage more with your coworkers.Having a positive work environment can also make a big difference in the way that you feel about your job. If you are not too close with your coworkers, then you might consider spending more time getting to know them. Some things you can do to get to know your coworkers better include:
- Attending social functions, such as meeting up with other teachers for happy hour or going to a barbeque at someone’s house.
- Eating lunch with other teachers in the teacher’s lounge instead of alone in your classroom.
- Asking other teachers questions about their lives, interests, and teaching.
Maintain a positive attitude for your students.Your students will look to you each day to set the tone in the classroom. One way to help keep your students in good spirits is to set a positive tone for the class every day. Some things you can try include:
- Putting an inspirational quote on the board.
- Telling a joke for the day.
- Greeting each of your students with a smile when he or she enters your class in the morning.
Note the impact you are having on your students.Sometimes you might feel like you are not making a difference, which may get you feeling down about teaching. To help yourself stay positive, try making a list of all of the ways that you are having an impact on your students’ lives. Some things that you might list include:
Try to keep an open mind when you are criticized.All teachers have to be evaluated throughout their careers. These evaluations are meant to help you find ways to improve and be the best teacher you can be. Try to stay open minded when you are criticized or advised to change something about your teaching.
- Even if you are an experienced teacher, try to use your evaluations as opportunities to broaden your knowledge and become even more experienced.
- For example, if you are criticized for going too quickly when you lecture about something, then you might look into ways to pace yourself better keeping in mind that this will benefit your students.
Find sources of inspiration.If you are down on your job, then you might also find it helpful to seek out daily sources of inspiration. Try setting aside 10 to 15 minutes every day before you start your day to get inspired.
- For example, you might read an inspirational quote every morning, journal about someone you admire and whose behavior you would like to model through your teaching, or just watch a video online that inspires you.
Avoid negative discussions about teaching.While it is fine to want to vent now and then, if you find that you are surrounded by negative discussions of teaching, then this could be wearing on you.To stay positive about your job, it is important to focus on the positives and avoid conversations that are just about criticizing your profession.
- If a conversation becomes negative, then try changing the subject. Try saying something like, “Yeah, that sucks. Oh, I just remembered. Did you see the local news last night? There was a really cool story about one of our students!”
- If a coworker is always complaining or talking negatively about teaching, then you might want to try to distance yourself from him or her. Try eating lunch with a different group or go for a walk on your lunch breaks instead.
Managing Your Workload
Look for ways to reduce the stress of grading.Grading can be a stressful part of teaching, especially if you teach English or another subject where you are evaluating student writing. You might feel obligated to provide extensive feedback to help your students, or you might simply feel panic when you get a large stack of papers on your desk.Some things you might do to reduce your stress about grading include:
- Setting a limit on how much time you can spend on each paper, such as 7 to 10 minutes.
- Grading in a pleasant environment, such as at a coffee shop, while listening to some relaxing music, or while sitting outside.
- Taking frequent breaks, such as 5 to 10 minutes every hour.
Plan ahead.Being well-organized can also help you to manage your workload and reduce your job stress. You can do this by keeping track of your responsibilities, appointments, and other important information in a planner.
- You might also plan ahead by getting as much work done as possible in advance. For example, instead of writing one lesson plan, you might write three to get a jump on a new unit. Instead of postponing some recordkeeping for the weekend, do it right away so that you can enjoy your weekend instead.
Give yourself a break.Taking breaks is essential to staying sane in any job, but teachers often tend to bring their work home with them. Some things you can do to ensure that you get regular breaks include:
- Setting aside at least one weeknight and one weekend day every week where you do not bring any work home with you.
- Taking your personal days, sick days, and vacation days as needed.
- Making the most of your summer vacations and doing as little work as possible for the coming school year.
Collaborate with other teachers in your subject area.Working with another teacher in your subject area can also help to reduce your workload. By finding out what another teacher has used with success in his or her classroom, you may be able to save yourself the time and hassle of trying to come up with something out of thin air.
- If your school has a mentorship program, then take advantage of it. Get to know someone who has more experience than you to get resources and lesson plans that you can use in your teaching.
- You might also just ask another teacher if he or she would be interested in meeting to swap teaching ideas sometime. You might be as helpful to this other teacher as he or she is to you.
Say no if you do not have time for something.Another important part of managing your stress is knowing when to say no. You may be asked to help out with all sorts of special projects and events, but it is not possible for you to do it all. If taking on these obligations stresses you out, then say no for a while.
- Try saying something simple like, “I’m sorry, but I can’t help you with that. I am just too busy this week.”
- Avoid listing multiple excuses or trying to explain yourself. Just be straightforward and say no.
Video: Why Love and Teaching Belong Together
Fishtail Braid to Bun Hairstyles for Prom
5 Health Benefits of Cherries
Weird Side Effects of Stress in Hindi
How to Fill a Propane Tank
How to Wear a Handkerchief
11Facts About Our Bodies That Turned Out toBeMyths
Former First Lady Barbara Bush Dies at 92
5 Serious Dangers of Day Drinking