All these added responsibilities – it exists, it’s for real, there’s no denying that!
But we also need to understand that where our attention goes energy flows.
So if we put all of our energy toward focusing on the constant barrage of negativity, and feeling stressed out and overwhelmed about all those extra things, then we tend to lose focus on the things that we love about teaching…
THE JOY OF TEACHING:
Planning creative and engaging lessons and having a good time sharing learning with our students and with our fellow educators.
I imagine that’s why we all started this in the first place, right?
Because we love sharing the experience of learning.
We love working with students and working with our colleagues too.
Taking the time to really assess and recognize where we’re putting our attention can be super helpful. It can help us shift that attention when we become more mindful of the times when maybe we’re obsessing over the problems that we can’t change or when we’re stuck in repeated patterns of negativity.
All of that sucks our energy away from being able to fully show up – for ourselves and for others.
I have three suggestions and strategies for how you can shift and prioritize your focus on the art of teaching and the things that you really love so that you can continue to FIND JOY in your every day as a teacher.
1. Communicate and ask questions.
There are so many things that are out of our control. And we may wonder:
How many more things are going to get added to our plate?
But what if we just asked for some help? What’s the worst that can happen if we do that?
Can we ask questions?
Can we communicate what we need?
All the while recognizing that it may or may not change anything… but at least we’ll know that we’ve communicated what’s happening with those who might be able to help us.
And be sure to communicate with people beyond your group of teacher friends and beyond the form of venting, because at a certain point that becomes unproductive and you need to start moving into solutions.
2. Let yourself celebrate the small wins.
When the good stuff happens, let it in completely! I just heard that on an awesome podcast that I listened to this week, called Practicing Human.
Let that joy, that positive stuff, those small wins be your focus, where your attention and energy goes, and stay there with it. Celebrate the small stuff. Celebrate it with your students and your colleagues as well. Share the joy!
Also recognize what takes place at our schools. If a colleague or an administrator does something nice or takes steps to change something, can you really draw your focus and your energy to that and think (or say aloud to them!), wow, this is great!.
Shout out to my administrators here – for planning a wellness day for teachers at the district level and in my building for stating action steps and taking them!!! THANK YOU!
This is a win, this is a small step – really take the time to recognize those small things.
Why do we do this?
Because when we start to celebrate all the little things, it gives us hope that those small things will be followed by more small things that make bigger change.
3. Recognize when we get ourselves into thought patterns.
I talked about that a little bit on my live Wednesday Wisdom as well as sharing the Heartfulness practice that also reflects this concept.
Doing this practice allows you to recognize where your energy is going and what you want to focus on. While also recognizing that… yeah, these other things exist, but I get to choose. I get to choose where I put the majority of my energy and what I focus on.
So if we decide to put the majority of our energy and focus on the things that make us feel bogged down, that’s going to make us feel low. It won’t create the joy that we love about teaching.
But if we choose to focus on all the great things that are happening, in our classrooms, the plans we’ve created and all of the good things that are happening around our school buildings that we’re a part of, then we’re spreading our joy, and that brings a lightness to everything around us – throughout our whole school community. And in doing so, there’s then a better chance that things might shift and change.
Have doubts on if or how this will work?
Try it for the next week and then let me know what happens. Choose to focus your energy on the positive moments, the little celebrations, the joy… and let go of the negativity and the things that you cannot change.
See how that shifts your mindset, your attitude and your everyday experience of teaching.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Looking forward to continuing to share with you more on how to experience and find the joy of teaching, every day.
Need help developing a plan on how to use this method in your own life? Click here to book a complimentary call and let’s chat!