By Teachers, For Teachers
The teaching profession in today’s society has never been more challenging. From dealing with the ever-evolving standards to keeping up with educational tech tools, it seems like there is always something changing in the teaching profession. As hard as it may be to try and keep up with it all, the teaching profession can still be a very rewarding career choice. You are shaping the next generation of our society, and that in itself can be pretty mind blowing if you think about it.
Although it may be difficult at times, you must try and hold on to that passion that once brought you to this job in the first place. Teacher burnout is a real thing that happens to a lot of teachers, and it is up to you to try and hold on to that passion. Teaching is not always going to be easy, and you will have some days during which you may want to give up. When that happens, you have to push yourself through it and remind yourself that with every struggle, there is an end result. As you move through your teaching career, keep the following advice in mind to ensure that you will never lose your passion for teaching.
You must embrace the fact that you are a lifelong learner. As long as you are a teacher, you will always be learning. A career in the education field means that there are always things to learn. Standards, technology, teaching strategies, and methods are always changing. Instead of feeling stressed out about the constant changes, try and embrace them. Take a look at it from a different perspective. Set yourself up with a learning plan and create it so that it suits your needs. No one ever said that you had to learn everything in one day -- take the time that you need and you will find that your passion will never falter.
Oftentimes, teachers are so busy with their jobs and families that they forget to take time out for themselves. Instead of keeping their passion for their jobs, they feel as if they are on autopilot each and every day of their career. When you take a moment for yourself, you are giving yourself permission to relax. During this time, you can reflect upon your life and career, which can help remind yourself of why you became a teacher in the first place.
Try and make a lasting impression on your students. You can go about this any way that you choose, as long as you leave the students at the end of the year knowing that you have done your job, and that you have made an impact on them. The more that you open up to your students and let them in, the more that they will trust you. When you have your students’ trust, you will also have their attention. As an educator, your goal is to try and open the minds of your students. Creating an environment where students want to come to class and learn will definitely help you keep your passion for your career.
One of the biggest mistakes teachers make is that they are too serious when it comes to teaching. They tend to forget that humor is life’s best medicine. If you want to keep your passion for your job, then you can’t take your job too seriously. Children are going to make mistakes, and so will you. It’s OK to have a sense of humor and laugh at yourself (or others) sometimes.
Compassionate teachers tend to be patient and optimistic. They know that every student in their class is unique and comes to school with different issues or problems. They also know that every child learns differently. Being a compassionate teacher means that you have to be thoughtful, kind, and empathetic. When you carry this virtue with you, you will have a better understanding of your students, which in turn with help you be the best that you can be at your job.
Always remember that, “A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning” (Brad Henry). Teaching is what you make of it. Allow yourself to laugh, take a few moments every day for just you, and never, ever lose your passion. If you feel that it may be slipping away from your fingers, remind yourself why you choose this career in the first place. Look at the faces of your students and remember that you are shaping their future.
How do you keep your passion for the teaching profession? Do you have any tips for teachers?
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds master's of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Skyword. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.