It's the final stretch of the school year and most of us are feeling exhausted and still the worst is yet to come with the exam period looming. We suggest the following three ways to help you stay motivated and to keep giving the best of yourself in the classroom.
1. Look for the why.
In every teacher there is an answer to Why do I want to teach? For some it might be the joy that comes with working with children. Some might do it for the aha moment that happens when something clicks for a child. For you it might be the innovation and creation that gets you energised about education. Still some of you might be doing it because of the need and the social responsibility you feel. If you are still not certain of your why, think about conversations that get you talking passionately about education - you will soon discover what's fueling your desire to teach.
2. Leverage your environment.
"I believe your atmosphere and your surroundings create a mind state for you." - Theophilus London
Now that you have your why figured out, you will automatically have re-orientated yourself in the direction of your ultimate goal. Your environment is filled with people who encourage, support, depend on, and enable you to do your job. Even in the circumstances where you feel this may not be necessarily true for you, there is always one or two people that you find trying to do this along side you. Find them. Work with them and draw from their energy. Over tea time in the break room, start positive conversations about the things you love about teaching to move you out of the funk of the negative conversations or people that are drawing energy from you.
If you don't think you can find anything positive to say, think about your "why?" and then use that to discuss how you are doing what you always wanted to be doing. On the flip side, if you think that you are not where you want to be, talk about how you think you can get there. Get other teachers excited in their conversations.
3. Get creative.
TIME! Yes I know, time is limited, energy levels are dropping and IQMS and other administrative activities are piling up on your desk as the year draws to a close.
We don't advocate for reinventing the wheel. Instead, remember your "why", and find out how other teachers have used their creative abilities to organise themselves administratively as well as how they have used technology in their classroom for creativity. Some of the most fantastic teaching resources are out there and have already been designed for you so that you don't even have to do the work. Maths teachers: Khan academy is a free and excellent website with many maths resources to help take some of the pressure off in designing lessons. For those of you who like to use videos or if you flip your classroom (if you are unfamiliar with this trend, we offer workshops for support), how about having a look on TeacherTube for resources.
If IQMS is getting you down at this time of the year, we also provide some support for this. Our workshops are SACE accredited, which means that you receive points for attending them. Don't miss our special offer if you are still needing SACE points before the end of the year.
These are the best ways to keep yourself motivated: remember your goal, work with the people around you, and get more creative in your lessons and your administration.