I find myself asking this question often, but in all seriousness, where has the time gone?
I can’t believe November is a week away! It’s fair to say that some of us don’t have that drive we once had at the start of the school year to get up first thing in the morning, eager to start the workday. And honestly, no one can be blamed for feeling run down already. Our profession can take a lot out of us. There’s no
denying that. And with the influx of newcomers – due to what’s been happening in the world – it hasn’t lightened the load any. So teacher burnout is a real possibility.
So much demand is placed upon teachers, and the needs of the students can really affect your will and drive to stay motivated. Especially around this time of year, it’s easy to lose that spark that you once had just a couple of months ago. You find yourself already counting down the days until Christmas break!
So to get you out of any potential rut, here are 5 tips to help you stay positive, motivated, and excited about your daily routine:
Picture any sports team – just before a game, they gather around either in their dressing rooms or on the field, and the coach gives them a pep talk and addresses anything that needs to be focused on for that game. Same sort of thing can be applied to teachers, where the supervisor and staff all get together and meet just before starting the workday to discuss anything and/or to simply give a motivational short talk to get everyone going. How amazing would that be?
We’re built to help others. It gives you a euphoric feeling which in turn motivates you to keep going. Too often we forget why we chose this profession. Teaching is about helping others learn to grow – and this can be applied not just to students, but to fellow colleagues as well. If a teacher is struggling with a lesson or what have you, providing that helping hand will go a long way toward motivating both parties involved, the helper and the helped.
Write and post positive messages
I’m not suggesting placing post-it notes around the school (although maybe not a bad idea?) but rather, have a few positive and meaningful short quotes/messages placed in various locations around you, such as inside your desk drawer, on your desk, in your notebook, etc. to help you get through the day – especially those bad days where you can’t wait to get home and turn your brain off.
Remind yourself that your profession is an integral one; you’re not only teaching a language, but you’re also a mentor and a support system to many of those you teach – you equip your students with the right tools to survive in this world. That’s no easy task.
Have bi-weekly or monthly potlucks
Bi-weekly might be a stretch, but the important thing is to allow yourself to see your peers outside of their teaching uniforms. Potlucks are a great way to be together and spend time unwinding and enjoying each other’s company outside the school setting. This will also allow for friendships to develop and positive energy to flow all around.
If these tips can be implemented at your school, I’m certain you’d see a big change in energy around the school and the positive impact it will have on the comradery among teachers. What are your thoughts on this topic? Who’s feeling the exhaustion already? And what tips can you offer that have helped you deal with the teacher burnout around this time of year?
Happy reading 🙂
2 thoughts on “Mid-term blues – Keep Going!”
Recently a friend taught me the proverb, “a change is as good as a rest.” Today I discovered the truth in that. I had been feeling the mid-term blues as well as feeling frustrated by my inability to accommodate a learner with (suspected) adult ADD and/or other learning disabilities. My colleague encouraged me to introduce colouring and other options into my normally rather rigid classroom. I was afraid to try, but I took the leap and created a station at the back of the room with iPads, colouring tools and colouring pages that fit with our theme. I explained to the students that as recently arrived refugees with preoccupied minds, they might need more frequent breaks or changes of pace. The student with the behavioural issues took to the new station like a fish to water. She joined the lesson when able for as long as she could tolerate it cognitively. Then she popped back to the back to finish colouring her picture of a bedroom. I felt the whole energy of my classroom shift. My teaching is about to undergo a massive transformation, and I’m so excited about it. A change really is as good as a rest!
What an inspiring idea, Kelly! How thoughtful and insightful of you to think about the newcomers and their current mental state, and actually doing something about it! It’s one thing to move to a new country with a new culture and a new language; but to have also lived in a war-torn country and in horrid living conditions is another thing altogether. Thank you so much for keeping them in mind and accomodating their needs in order for them to assimilate with society.
I love your feedback – you’re an inspiration to me and the rest of this community! Please keep us posted on the changes in your classroom 🙂
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