Chances are that one day you would be made to feel that you're either not working hard enough with your students OR you are simply not good at teaching. Well, that is a problem that we all face and in most cases the opinions of others are not necessarily true. So you find yourself reflecting and going over your own practice with a fine-tooth comb. This is inevitable! I wish I could say that it cannot or would not happen, but it always does. This post is not about avoiding being criticized or chastised for your efforts. It's about offering ways of lessening that feeling of worthlessness; it's about coping with the bad and finding boosters for your morale. Here's my ultimate guide to teacher happiness!
I know that you're probably tired of hearing this, but it is the best piece of advice anyone can offer. Stay positive! Find something that you look forward to doing that helps you take your mind off of bad situations. I love creating resources for teachers and students and this is how I began to spend my spare time. If you enjoy taking care of your flower garden or simply writing memoirs then do just that. At the end of the day I look forward to spending my time doing the things I enjoy and you should too!
Another way of staying positive is to do something for someone else. Recently I took the opportunity to do something for my friend who least expected it. She was very happy and I got a chance to focus on somebody else besides me.
Exercise!!! You can devote at least twenty minutes to walking or any other aerobic activity to keep your mind at ease. I enjoy exercise in the comfort of my own home since I am steeped with work most times. I either do it early in the morning (at 4:00 am) or at about 7 o'clock at night. The weather does not always hold out so most times I am indoors. You should probably try searching for some easy exercise videos on youtube. I love Jillian Michaels No More Trouble Zone a lot.
Another great way to keep yourself thinking positive is to spend some money on an experience rather than buying expensive things. When you do this you don't feel all that guilty knowing that what you spent money on is an experience. There's nothing to make you feel bad more than to spend money on an object which when you think more about it, there was no need for it. I'm sure you know what I mean.
Change how you react
You can change how you react to the world of disappointment and stress by looking for the good in a bad situation. So your principal gives you a low score on the accountability scale and this makes you feel unappreciated. The natural thing to do is to rehash those feelings and put yourself under the microscope to see where you can make small improvements where possible. I know this may sound cliched but dwelling on the bad comments would not put you anywhere closer to comfort or a sound peace of mind. Change how you see the situation and your mindset would be more positive.
Of course you may not have had all that was required of you in your appraisal and your principal might have come down on you pretty hard, but look at it as a hurdle. Take that leap forward and you will get to your goal. Make the small moments count!
Sustain good habits
Create good habits and sustain them! Get rid of those habits that are not so good! Spend no more time on the things that are not good for you; the things that are not productive. At the end of the day there should be no doubt that your time has been spent productively. Start coming to school earlier. Spend some extra time on the things that need your attention. Don't waste your time anymore. Sustaining those good habits and eliminating those that are counterproductive is a surefire way of becoming a happier teacher!
Seek social support
In my weakest moments I turn to my family and friends for both encouragement and support. They may not understand too well the troubles before me but they do listen to what I have to say. Sometimes a listening ear is all that you need at the end of the day. At times they can be so helpful and unobtrusive when I go on my rants. There is no advice that I love to hear more than a positive one. Dealing with your troubles seem to be an insurmountable task but believe me you are not in it alone. Take some time to use your social support. It is a great thing to know that there is a structure of support that is just waiting there to help you get it together!