How You Can Love Your Teaching Job Again
Love It or Leave It!
You will never be paid enough to do it. A teacher's work and worth cannot be calculated in dollar amount. It is a commitment, a sacrifice, a sacerdotal profession. You must love it or leave. Remember, you chose this profession from your heart (your love for the owners of the young minds and hearts that you are molding, the children) and not from the head (what you teach).
During my fifteen years of teaching, I have noticed that every year the teachers are more and more losing their joy for teaching, getting bitter and bitter, very unhappy, and miserable.
The main reason this is, is that teachers forget why they have chosen this profession: to lead, to inspire, to mold and prepare young minds. If teaching is no longer joyous and inspiring to you, it is because you have reversed the order of things: You have now become a teacher of Math, Sciences, English Language Arts etc, instead of a lover of youngsters who happens to teach these subjects. Someone powerfully stated that the students will not care about how much you know, until they know about how much you care. This is a pure truth.
To my hardworking and self-sacrificing colleagues in the classroom, here are three things that will help you get that joy back if you will read, reread, ponder over, and apply them.
1. WHAT DO THE KIDS SEE FIRST. It is not what is in your head that the kids see first, but what is in your heart. Kids sense, discern and intuitively know, if you are a really caring person or a phony individual; if you are a human being or a teaching machine. Do you listen to them, I mean LISTEN, not preparing for what you are going to say next. Do you see them for what they really are? That is children? Try to remember that "once upon a time" you were just like that, a child. Compassion, feeling. Put yourself in their shoes, but please take off yours first.
2. YOU ARE IN CONTROL. Many of us fear of losing control, so we react to events instead of responding as adults. Teachers are in fear of the Administration noticing the chaos in their classrooms. If you truly think about it, your fear is, being told by the Administration that you are not in control. Never mind the Administration! Be yourself! Be genuine and you will be happier, truer and real. Let it be known that in your classroom, THE BUCK STOPs RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! YOU ARE THE PRINCIPAL, THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL, THE COUNSELOR, THE PARENT OF YOUR CLASSROOM. Let the students know that you HANDLE ANY AND EVERY SITUATION IN YOUR CLASSROOM. The only time you refer a student to the Administration is for extreme clauses such as when a weapon or drugs are involved. Referring students for petty reasons is truly giving your power away to the Administration. Your primary goal is to educate, instruct, inspire and guide the students in your care. Based on your classroom discipline plan and all your documentation, you and the Administration must know what consequences match the behavior. Take care of what you have to do and do it!
3.. LACK OF PREPAREDNESS. Swinging it is another if not the number one joy killer in this noble profession. Master your subject! Plan, plan, plan, plot, plot, orchestrate, orchestrate your plans! Masterfully EXECUTE! Teach as if nobody else, would dare compare themselves to you.You are the orchestra leader. Rehearse, strategize and HAVE FUN while preparing! If you do not have fun while preparing your lesson,and delivering it why in the world do you expect anyone for that matter, especially young brains should? Make it fun or DO NOT TEACH IT AT ALL!
These are a few pointers that I believe and hope will help you get your joy back and keep you molding those young minds that look up to you everyday as their role models role model they are ready to emulate.
Remember that you are a winner, and the shaper of tomorrow's society. You are planting the seeds of love, care, compassion and patience and diligence in the very little brains that will take care of you later, as aging is a sure reality.
I truly and honestly believe that you will rekindle that love, passion and zest that led to this noble profession if you care for and about your students, if you assert and affirm your control, and prepare everyday, it will be a win-win situation with that feeling of living on purpose.