Parents, you're child's teacher is in the final stretch. It's not too late to THANK THEM! Don't Unless you have taught, you really don't get it. If you're child's teontacher seems grouchy or mean, maybe it's because she doesn't feel APPRECIATED and she probably has teacher BURNOUT which has become a new epidemic in our country because of the demands of state testing. Maybe this article can help you understand a teacher's mindset. It doesn't mean that teachers hate their jobs, but a little UNDERSTANDING would surely help!
Even though you may have just gotten back from spring break, teacher's are already wondering. “How many days left of school?” Trust me when I say that most teachers have thought these words, but would never dare tell anyone. The truth?
If any of these 5 thoughts have already crossed your teacher's mind, h/she might well be on their way to Teacher Burnout.
You strongly affirm that aerial spraying should not be Lysol but Prozac
Teachers should be allowed caffeine in IV form
Meeting a child’s parents for the 1st time and it's already April promptly answers the question, “Why is this kid like this?”
The staff room should have a valium vending machine
“Limited gene pool” should be an option on the report card
I’m glad you had a giggle or at least can relate to this teacher mindset. Having been a teacher for over 21 years I completely understand that overwhelming feeling that engulfs us, especially when it happens in the first couple of weeks after spring break. You're up at night thinking, "Omg I have Open House, state testing, parent conferences, grading, report cards and then the dreaded cums!" It's enough to make anybody feel crazy.
Mindful Your Life
Before you go into panic mode, resolve to try one different strategy to make your life move from pain and into prosperity. Journal writing is not only important for your students, BUT FOR YOU! Let go of control and allow yourself to relax. Put on your favorite music and just chill. If your students do not want to write, play-dough is fun, coloring, salt trays, squish balls, or anything that is soothing. For older students who do not want to write, let them sketch, draw, or create.
Journal write for 5 – 10 minutes daily or 5 minutes per class if you teach multiple-subjects; not for grades but just to be grateful for what you have
Pick an individual that you don’t particularly enjoy working with and list his or her positive attributes
Listen for negative statements in your mind or thoughts and restate them in a positive format
Make your enemy your frenemy: Write them a friendship letter telling them how great they are. Don’t worry! You don’t have to give it to them
Breathe! Think about what you want to accomplish this year. Yes, we all want high test scores, but developing loving relationships will last a lifetime
If you commit to just 5 – 10 minutes a day, you give yourself permission to care for yourself. We as teachers give, give, give to others, but we don’t give to ourselves. Daily journal writing for pleasure changed my life. We began with 5 – 10 minutes of breathing to music or YouTube videos, and then we would write for 5 – 10 minutes. What I learned was that I was calmer and when I was relaxed, I became a better teacher. The students were more present and more productive. Often times we had optional journal sharing. Soon, in just 5 minutes my students became better writers, readers, and spellers. But remember, this isn’t for grades, it is for pleasure.
Researchers state that it takes 25 to 30 days for an affirmation to manifest, or an old habit or way of thinking to change. I usually subscribe to 33 days because the number 3 features the development and the beliefs of abundance, freedom, nonjudgmental thinking, encouragement, support, talent and skills, self-expression and communication.
I’d like to end with this beautiful quote:
“I have come to a frightening conclusion: I am the decisive element in the classroom. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or deescalated and a child humanized or dehumanized.”
- Haim Ginott ,Teacher and Child
What teachers really want besides school supplies and spa days? Do you really know your teacher? Something unique that h/she really enjoys such as a sports team, TV show, or movie. What is their favorite food or drink? Take time to get to know your child's teacher. You just might find they are human just like YOU!
Now don’t be a burnout, be blissfully beautiful instead!
For more articles like this or to donate please visit: Breaking Free of Bullying
Dr. Patti Martin has a PhD in Philosophy Education: Curriculum & Instruction Twitter
Dr. Bria Bliss is author of Breaking Free of Bullying and collaborator for Mindfulness Education Twitter