Teaching, contrary to what many people believe, is a physically and mentally demanding job. When a lesson has gone to plan and it’s been a success, the feeling of euphoria and accomplishment is second to none. However, when a lesson has not gone too well, it’s hard not to take it personally and the feeling is…well let’s just say, not great!
With as many as 50% of new teachers leaving the education system within the first five years of teaching due to added pressure and administrative workload, teacher burnout is a grim reality. The government focuses on keeping students motivated and enhancing their learning, yet ignoring teachers’ needs. When teachers themselves are not motivated, motivating children is a paradox. It really should go without saying that teachers who are enthusiastic and motivated will undoubtably motivate young learners; it’s a shame that the education system doesn’t see this.
So how can you stay motivated as a teacher, when you may well feel that the system, most often than not, is against you?
Below are 5 ways you can stay motivated in teaching and keep that initial glow of light that got you into the teaching profession. Read on to find out what you can do to relight that fire within you!
1. Take some time out
Yep, I know this may sound strange, but research has shown that by switching off and taking time off teaching you will feel rejuvenated and recharged, ready to empower your students. Ideas come to you when you are calm and not under pressure.
2. READ An education book
It’s such a simple way to get new ideas you may want to try in your classroom, that will help you develop as a teacher. Those teaching for a long time can easily get stuck in a rut doing the same old things. Don’t be afraid to try something new to spice up your teaching. It will help trigger some lost motivation. Want to take it a step further? Take a seminar or training course!
3. Observe other teachers
See what’s going on in other classrooms. By watching others in action in different settings, you may realise you fancy a change and would like to teach another year group. Talk to your headteacher about it, most heads want teachers to be happy for they know that they will be better at their job.
4. Exchange ideas with your colleagues
Talk to your co-workers and share ideas about strategies that work for you in your classroom. We are surrounded by so many talented people in our profession and don’t even know it. Ge the most out of your colleagues. It is so easy to shut ourselves in our safe classroom and get lost in our own little teaching world, it’s not a safety net, it’s a trap – don’t be fooled.
5. Be patient
All professions have their ups and downs. You may find your lack of motivation is only a phase that will pass. Don’t let it get you down too much, make minor changes in your routine and leave the door open for motivation to find you. It can come in all shapes and forms when you’re least expecting it: a smile from a student, a positive comment from a parent, a thought from one of your colleagues, even a motivational quote you may simply come across.
Remember that no one is perfect and there is no such thing as a perfect teacher. Yes, we too are human, even if we may sometimes try to be superhuman. Some lessons may be good, others may be great and some down right terrible, but such is life. The good comes with the bad and with a pinch of salt you make the most of it. Teaching is such an awesome profession! It’s not for the faint-hearted, but the warm-hearted, and that’s why we love it. ❤ ❤ ❤
With much love to all teachers out there who might be feeling demotivated.
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I find these to be very helpful for my job tending to the needs of individuals with developmental disabilities. Great advice!
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Thank you so much for commenting, I appreciate it greatly. I can imagine that your job must be very difficult. I am so happy you found this post helpful! 💗
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Great ideas for staying motivated! My teammates definitely help me, and we divide up the work so it’s not too overwhelming. I agree that it’s important to take a mental health day every now and then.
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Hi Tara! Thanks for commenting! Yes, good point, you can’t beat having good teammates to keep you motivated! ❤