There’s always another paper to grade. Another parent to contact. Another unit to plan. Sometimes, the constant demands of education can take its toll on even the most dedicated teachers. Here are a few ideas and reminders that can help restore the passion to the person behind the desk.
1. Team up. During a long, hard battle, it’s best to find some allies for reinforcement! The same can be true for the weary teacher. If you’re having a challenge with a lesson objective or an unruly student, seek ideas from others! Don’t let the focus remain on the problem; look for positive solutions to try.
2. Let it out. On the other hand, a little venting can help you keep your cool a little longer. But try to find constructive ways to ease the tension you feel: write in a journal, run on the track, laugh over a cup of coffee. As you feel the frustrations ease and your muscles relax, you know you are better prepared for the tasks of a new day.
3. Get away. Sometimes, it’s nice to just hide away somewhere to take a breather from the normal pace of life. Quiet time in a library or a slow morning with coffee can help provide relief. Take this time to relax and refocus on the day ahead.
4. Get inspired. But teaching workshops can often provide the same energy as quiet time does! Watching the enthusiasm of others can often serve as a personal boost, even if you’ve heard the material before. Whether it’s a three-day trip to another city or a three-hour afternoon with nearby educators, these opportunities can remind you that you’re not alone.
5. Mix it up. Tired of the same lesson? Why not try new ideas? Go online to think of new ways to teach the familiar material. Or make things especially different by “swapping” a class with another teacher to “guest teach” a lesson you particularly enjoy. The change can add a sense of excitement for the students as well!
No matter what tricks you try, there is no substitute for focusing on the main reasons you do what you do: God has called you to do it! Serve the Lord in the spot He has placed you with the gifts He has given you. When you are weary, He can provide rest and strength for each new day. And it often helps to remember that: “whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men. . . . You are serving the Lord Christ” (Colossians 3:23–24).