Every morning, I jump out of my bed with that unpleasant alarm. Yes! It sounds like, “Oh! My God, I hardly have slept enough!”
Who on EARTH would want to leave that cosy bed for yet another challenging day!
Well, In almost half an hour, while exercising and spending time with my dog ‘COCO’, I have gained positive energy, and I am all set to begin my day with a ‘BANG!’
I start setting up my mood, thinking, “How exciting (and challenging) is my day going to be?”
Alright! I enter the school, and we start exchanging ‘good morning’ notes. As a conversation lover, I would ask everyone, “How are you today?” And I get the 3 most frequent replies from my colleagues, and I have started calling them:
‘THE 3 S CONDITION’
BIG QUESTION: If we teachers feel vulnerable dealing with our state of mind, how will we help to our students?
If we are weak and shattered from within, how will we empower these young people?
YOU CAN’T POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP!
I feel strong empathy for the teaching fraternity. I keep asking myself, How do we support each other with our experiences, so we don’t feel vulnerable anymore?
My colleagues and friends have helped me gain insights into this issue through real-life experiences. Let’s work on these simple tips to start our journey of transformation!
KEEP YOUR GRATITUDE AND POSITIVE ENERGY HIGH!
What usually comes to our minds as soon as we wake up?
“Ah! I have to do so much today and am overloaded!” Depressing thoughts start forming the moment we wake up. Consequently, we enter the school carrying a ‘baggage of negative emotions and induce the same feelings in our colleagues. The impact becomes disastrous when we reflect this to the students as it blocks the entire teaching-learning process.
So, what do we do to solve this issue?
- Be grateful for all the GOODNESS that uplifts you every day. For me, ‘Coco’ and coffee are good for setting up my mood daily! I have started developing habits of mind, and I feel wonderment and awe for the beauty of life around me. Train your mind to think, “Life is pretty good, Yeah!”
- How hard is it to start your day with the feeling of ‘GRATITUDE?’ As soon as you wake up, Thank God for giving you the precious gift of ‘Life’. Most importantly! Spend some minutes thinking about how to make your life worthwhile as you have just one life!
- Set a goal- “Today, I am going to help and cheer someone.” Make sure you do these small acts of kindness, like holding the door for colleagues and students, asking for their wellbeing, etc. SMILE, SPREAD POSITIVE ENERGY, and APPRECIATE HARD WORK!
- Make positive connections with your students. Let your students know there is more to the school than the curriculum and books. During the break, before or after your class, engage them in casual chats and jokes. Ask them about their day and if they have anything exciting going on. Take a few minutes to talk about hobbies, music, television shows, sports, movies, etc. This will strengthen the teacher-student relationship, making you feel good from within.
Are we able to manage our time?
Teachers often grumble for being so overloaded that they have to take their work home. This kills their family time and adds to their frustration. Once in a while, it is OK to work in the evenings, but it shouldn’t be our daily DEADLY ROUTINE! Our families are victims of this habit, which gradually affects our connection with them.
My teenage son keeps commenting on my habit of answering whatsapp messages of my students, “Mom, why do you have to answer them now! You are meant to do all this during your school timings.”
So, what do we do to solve this issue?
Recently, I have started working on my “WAY OF WORKING!”. Here are some tips and tricks to manage your time effectively.
- Before you leave your desk daily, plan and note all the jobs “to do” for the next day. This process needs some brainstorming as you must think about and list each task. You can use readymade planner templates for it. AND BRAVO! You are ready to start your NEW DAY; just keep checking each job when you finish it.
- Avoid an overdose of gossip! It is a healthy habit to share feelings but not at the cost of losing your precious time. Teachers keep telling each other about weekend stories, husbands, and kids. Sometimes, we get so obsessed with these conversations that we forget how much time has been wasted! Moreover, when chattering becomes too loud, it also affects the work efficiency of others sitting in that staffroom (and they didn’t sign up for that!)
- Monitor your time on Social media! Indeed, Humans are social by nature. However, we often get so engrossed in peeking into others’ lives that we FORGET TO LIVE OURS ENTIRELY! Watch out for your TIME and PURPOSE on social media! It is fruitful if used wisely to connect with like communities where you share vision and ideas. If not used appropriately, it is a sheer loss of your precious time and emotional calmness.
- Effective collaboration is the key to saving time. You are not here to prove yourself as a ‘superhero’ who can manage everything alone! Make an organised plan with your team and divide the tasks amongst the teachers. Be it unit planning, lesson planning, or class strategies, teamwork brings deeper insights than you working alone. Collaboration saves time and effort, which could be utilised for another productive task.
SPEND TIME FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH AND WELL BEING
I have seen teachers very concerned about our students’ academic and personal growth, which is a sign of a GREAT TEACHER! We get so engrossed with our profession that we almost forget our identity. We hardly think about ourselves,
“WHAT ARE MY SKILLS AND TALENTS?”
“HOW DO I KEEP MYSELF FIT, MENTALLY, AND PHYSICALLY?”
If you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t take care of your students.
So, go easy on yourself! Find the time and ways for self-care and personal growth.
- Use your leisure time to cultivate a new hobby. It is an enriching experience when you use your energy to learn a new skill. Hobbies give you a way to take your mind off the stresses of everyday life. They let you relax, build your self-confidence, and improve the element of CREATIVITY. (Creative teachers induce the same in their students!). I love reading books, writing poetry, and travelling. Believe me, these hobbies have positively changed my life and given me a lot of joy and a sense of accomplishment.
- Develop mindfulness and focus your mind on the present moment. Often, the cause of our anxiety and restlessness is thinking about the past and the future rather than the present moment. LIVE IN THE PRESENT AND FOCUS ON WHAT YOU ARE DOING RIGHT NOW! Every morning, sit comfortably, practice meditation, and focus on your body and senses. (Make it a habit! Even for 15 minutes).
- “Sleep is the best meditation”-Dalai Lama. To be able to get good sleep is a blessing! Never ignore your bio-clock and try to follow the ‘Early to Bed’ regime. We simply get hooked on those NETFLIX series that we tend to sleep late, even on weekdays. Try your best to get 8 hours of ‘magic sleep’; the next day, you will see a big difference in your energy levels and performance. (Finally, No more sleepy teachers!!)
- Never ignore your health and fitness. Find time to exercise and walk daily. Check your overall health and consult a doctor if anything is troubling you. Believe me, if you are physically unfit, you will never be able to give your 100% as a teacher.
- Travel whenever you get a chance! Teachers need to relax and unwind every holiday they get! Visiting places and exploring cultures brings new perspectives to your life. Travelling is a GREAT PLATFORM for personal growth as it resets your body and mind to be a BETTER YOU! It breaks the monotony, bringing you back to school with beautiful experiences and insights.
Try to bring these changes to your attitude and lifestyle, and you will see WONDERS!!
such a great article Mrs Abhi , I am so proud to have you as my teacher , you were always there in our hard times to spread your endless positivity !!
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Thank you Joud, I am just reflecting on the positive energy I gain from all of you…Stay happy and blessed!
Great insights providing practical ideas on how we can transform our working hours from a burden we strive to get rid of, into some quality time we happily spend taking care of our students without leaving aside our own health & wellbeing. Simply because taking care of the later ensures perfection of the former. Great effort
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Thank you Ms. Hanem. You have always been radiating positive energy to the teachers and the students! You are an inspiration for many of us.
Truly, I wish to see teachers taking care of the emotional health of their students as that would give them immense satisfaction.