Where to Find the Joy in Teaching [Infographic]
Embrace the “Teachable Moments”
Sometimes we are “in it”, we really are head in the sand, laser-focused on the curriculum, the assessment, the data, and then, that question comes along. That happy accident happens. That debate starts. And a bell goes off in your teacher-brain and you know that this moment is worth putting the brakes on everything else and digging in. It’s those moments that are memorable, that make a difference and often really stick with students. Often, it is those moments that make it all worthwhile.
Catch Up With Past Students
Whether you meet by chance at a restaurant or supermarket or they come back to school to visit – You can always find joy in seeing how well your past students are doing. They’ve grown, they’ve gained some perspective, and sometimes they can even see how your teaching has influenced them. Taking a moment to chat with former students can be just the uplifting refresh you need to reenter your classroom with renewed enthusiasm and purpose.
Engage in Fellowship with Colleagues
You know that teacher who can turn a bad day around, whose classroom you can go in to vent or for a laugh – they are important. When things get tough or stressful know that you have a support system, that there are others going through the same things. You spend more of your waking hours at school than at home most weekdays, your colleagues can make those hours easier and less stressful if you let them. They can help you gain perspective and see in the joy in what you do.
See the Growth
Perhaps the biggest joy takes the most perspective. Seeing how much your students change and knowing that you are a part of that growth is so important to educators. Seeing that you are making the difference that you set out to do, the reason you teach in the first place is a key piece in finding your joy in teaching. If you want to set yourself up for this you can create and save pre- and post-projects that visibly show growth as a reminder to the great work you do each day.
Relish the “A-ha’s”
Yes, the “A-ha’s” those moments we live for as teachers. Never underestimate them. The moments when students get it. When the light comes on and it all comes together – thanks to you. These moments are everything and when they happen, soak it in. The “a-ha’s” are the joy in teaching incarnate and they can change any educators day around.