8 Tips for Stronger Teacher Resiliency
Every teacher needs a boost sometimes. These tips will help you strengthen your resiliency and refresh your perspective. Read to the bottom for a free printable of these tips to keep as a reminder as your navigate your school year.
Write It Down
Whether it’s journaling, blogging, or just jotting down your thoughts on whatever is around, the act of getting it all out each day can help you as a teacher.
Writing out the happenings of your day gets it out of your head. Having a place to express your thoughts means that they aren’t still in the back of your mind when you leave school and they aren’t swirling around when you are trying to sleep.
Getting it all out can make you a better teacher. Whether it was a lesson that didn’t go as planned or an interaction with a student that could have been better – taking a moment to write is an opportunity to reflect and improve your practice.
By bringing your own interests into your classroom you are giving your students a way of connecting with you.
Whether your interests are similar to theirs or seen as goofy or outdated, showing that you are more than just academics humanizes you for your students. So, hang that movie poster, bring in that old guitar, and display that team pennant.
We all know that play is an important piece of learning and growth in early childhood, but there is nothing that says that play needs to (or should) stop then. Implementing games and challenges as part of your teaching practices introduce a level of excitement and joy that is engaging and motivating for students – reminiscent of those early days when play was encouraged in the classroom.
Clean Your Room
You’re an adult. No one can tell you to clean your room. But, you should do it anyway, because for many people an organized space provides mental clarity too. When your surroundings are in order it
is less taxing on you psychologically and allows you to have the mental fortitude to focus on what is most important. So, organize that desk and stack those papers, it can help you
Treat Yo’ Self
Any fans of the show Parks and Rec out there? Each year two characters, Donna and Tom, celebrated “Treat Yo’ Self Day” as a day to indulge and do something special just for themselves. Teachers are by nature are pretty selfless and often need encouragement to take time for themselves. Well, here is your encouragement, give yourself a Treat Yo’ Self Day. You deserve it. Even on a teacher’s salary, it’s possible to find a way to do something special, that isn’t necessary, and will make you feel good. Giving back to yourself can provide you the little boost you need to reenter your classroom with a brighter outlook. It doesn’t have to be a whole day, but take a little break and give to yourself. You won’t regret it
This little tip gets many teachers through those dreary late winter months. Take a look a calendar. Find something to look forward to. If you there isn’t anything in the near future (say within a month), then create something to look forward to. Maybe it’s a weekend getaway, a birthday or anniversary celebration, a night out with friends – whatever it is, plot it out, plan for it, and give yourself something to look forward to that will keep you moving forward.
Change Things Up
Ruts. Everyone is susceptible. Whether you are a brand-new teacher, you’re in your last year, or somewhere in between – recognizing the patterns we create for ourselves and our students is the first step to shaking things up a bit. The design of most schools are regimented, certain times for certain subjects, specific spaces for specific activities. As a teacher, if you aren’t careful, you can find yourself trapped in your own personal Groundhog’s Day.
Think back to your student days. What do you remember most? It’s probably not the days that all felt the same. The days that will be most memorable to your students are the days something special happens. So, introduce some novelty, initiate a new activity or project, break up the routine – it could become the best thing you do for you and your students.
Remember when you were a little kid and you took a field trip for school? The teacher paired everyone up and called it the “buddy system”. When you were set free on the trip you had a buddy to watch out for you and make sure you found your way back to the bus. You, in turn, helped keep your buddy safe and you both made it back in good spirits. Well, today I tell you, you are never too old for the buddy system.
In many ways, the company we keep influences us, so choose your buddies wisely. Positivity boosts positivity. The more positivity you are around the more positive you become. So, think about who you engage with and who engages with you during the day, because it works the same way with negativity. Are you giving and getting the optimism you need? Or, are you letting the pessimism of others keep you down? It’s time to make a conscious decision about how you spend your time and energy. Buddy up with the people who can make you the best teacher you can be, and the best version of yourself possible.
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