Teachers deserve to be happy. I often remind myself of this so I can continue to serve my students well and give them meaningful learning experiences with a happy heart. Today, I am going to share with you 10 awesome steps to take if you want to remain happy with teaching from the viewpoint of a great teacher I know.
I was taught by a happy teacher. My favorite elementary school teacher was and is still always happy with teaching.
She was my happy teacher and when I met her just lately, she’s still the happy teacher I know. As an educator, I got very curious about how she remained happy with teaching. So, I asked her when I had the privilege to talk with her.
To make it more colorful, let me narrate the opportunity which brought us together after so many years.
She was in awe of seeing me speaking in front of so many teachers who were considered as my superiors because they are Master Teachers and School Heads. In fact, she’s included in the big crowd of educators at the conference hall.
My 6th-grade teacher just couldn’t believe that I joined the feathers in the cap of education and even became a resource speaker at that. She’s very proud of me and I was very happy then.
“I’m glad you followed my footsteps. Teaching is really fulfilling, especially if you extend beyond your horizons to be a great example to others and make a difference,” she said.
“No matter how pressured we are at times and how stressful this profession is, at the end of each day, God always gives us the reason to smile and it’s worth it because we are helping His other creations to be successful.” These were meaningful words from my 6th-grade teacher during our unexpected encounter.
Well, my passion for teaching made me choose the profession and not because my parents wanted it. I felt it from within me that I love sharing ideas and teaching to young learners. The good examples of my teachers before, especially my 6th-grade teacher, are my inspiration.
Keep reading and get inspired by the awesome ways to remain happy with teaching. Let’s closely knit these pieces of advice from a seasoned and great teacher of mine.
10 Awesome Steps to Take If You Want to Remain Happy With Teaching
1. Never think of it as a job.
“Never think of it as a job but your life’s purpose,” my favorite teacher shared. This made me realize that I have been working towards my life’s purpose by the time I became a teacher myself.
Such a brilliant thought I got from her. “Don’t teach just because you are paid for it. Teach because you want to serve, then it’s never a job after all. It’s a mission.”
“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.” – Carl Jung
“For you to become a happier teacher”, my teacher continued, “you should consider this profession as your vocation. For if you do so, you’ll teach with dedication.”
This made me realize that I am lucky to have a teacher like her who has greatly influenced my being and uplifted my worth.
My dear fellow teachers, we are very lucky to have the passion to teach because we are given the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our students and find happiness through this noble profession.
Before she went back to the seminar hall, she embraced me and said, “Remember, my dear, your dedication and commitment bring happiness to your students and this makes your heart leap with joy.”
2. Share your innovations and creativity cheerfully.
As teachers, our creativity brings forth innovations that ought to be shared with others. Collaboration in teaching magnifies our strength as professionals.
“As you speak today, in front of us, I know you have your deep-seated purpose of sharing your innovations with us all. Share it wholeheartedly because many teachers out there are wanting it.”
I get it. My dedication to the service includes sharing a big part of myself with others.
Doing it can make us happier teachers. Your innovations, even on the simplest things like crafting e-class records for impressive automation, can make others happy too.
Personally, I’ve seen many teachers who are sharing their best practices on Social Media to help others, especially those who are new to the profession. This practice encourages the newbies to keep pushing through no matter how tough teaching can become.
3. Teach students from the heart.
“If teaching is your mission, then you are most capable of teaching from the heart,” my favorite told me.
For me, I am one of my favorite teacher’s masterpieces because she sets out in the education arena with a mission. She is teaching from the heart because she’s not just making her students learn important knowledge but also to learn life skills to appreciate the realities of life ahead.
Teaching from the heart is an act of an effective teacher. It means teaching students about life and not just the facts and theories in books. Therefore, it’s about creating meaningful learning experiences for our learners by touching their hearts and respecting their well-being.
4. Give yourself a break at times.
“Take time for yourself. Go out and pamper yourself once in a while. Don’t let stress eat you out”, another piece of advice from my favorite mentor.
She continued, “Look at me, I am old but I’m still a happy teacher.” I added, “and you are still my lovely teacher.” And we laughed.
Breathe out stress. What is it that relaxes you? Listening to music? Cooking healthy meals? Swimming with your family? Go on.
I know that you have your own recipe for relaxation and unwinding. I’m glad that you have your own regimen of reducing stress because I know how demanding our profession is.
Regular school days can be very stressful. We deserve a break from time to time to regain our balance and to maintain our focus. All the tasks from planning, correcting, and recording, to managing and facilitating are indeed energy-consuming. If you allow it, then you can be an unhappy teacher.
We need to have a life outside of teaching. I lay out my beautiful outfit and I stroll at the park. I listen to my favorite tunes in my room. I take time playing with my kids. I run around. I laugh. I giggle.
5. Always consider yourself a great teacher.
“Nothing can make me less as a teacher because I am confident that I have done so many things to make my students happy,” my mentor looked at me, “Were you happy when you’re in my classroom before?”.
I answered with a big smile, “Yes, I did have a fabulous time with you, teacher. Your sense of humor kept me engaged to attend your classes every day.” She retorted, “That’s because I considered myself a great teacher.”
In fact, her influence on me never stops. I really appreciate her hard work and patience. Ultimately, this mentor of mine is really one of the best! Her wit, experience, and expertise really contributed to what I am now.
Hence, I consider her as a great teacher and I consider myself too. No one can ever question you that as long as you are confident in yourself that you are doing the right thing and you love teaching more than as a job.
Therefore, for us to remain happy with teaching, we should consider ourselves as great teachers!
Do you feel good now?
We are appreciated. We are great!
6. Stay positive, motivated, and optimistic.
According to an article I read from The Guardian, teachers should not worry about being happy because it can make us less happy. By staying positive and motivated even though things turned out to deviate from what’s planned, we should be very optimistic that there can be a lot of ways in achieving our goals.
My teacher shared that we become happier if we stay motivated no matter what. By accepting that life is imperfect and by realizing that we are not alone who are experiencing downfall at some point in life, it’s easy for us to embrace change for the better.
If a lesson flops or our students are not performing very well on a certain task, we should be optimistic that there’s still an endless chance for them to get better and to be the best that they could be.
7. Plan things ahead and never procrastinate.
Although there are times that we don’t feel like doing anything, then stop. Take a deep breath but never procrastinate just because you think there are still a lot of times ahead.
“Set your priorities. Make a plan and don’t postpone tasks for today,” another brilliant piece of advice from my teacher.
We should not delay important tasks that serve important roles in the achievement of our goal of improving student learning. If you still have time remaining for the day, then make the most of it. If the class is done and I still have time before home sweet home time, I record my students’ outputs or prepare in advance PowerPoint presentations for the next lesson.
Make a plan and execute it with loyalty. Additionally, it’s your way to keep organized and to keep track of the things around you. Certainly, cramming can make you frustrated and sad. Worse, you can never be a happy teacher as you should be.
The unbearable pile of paperwork and outputs to be recorded will steal your energetic mood and make you procrastinate. It costs you precious time which can eventually affect your students’ learning activities.
Psychologists share that procrastinating can give us less time to do our tasks properly which can affect our performance. The more we crawl for time, the more we do things haphazardly. Of course, negative outcomes can make us more stressed and unhappy.
Therefore, to be happier teachers we should avoid procrastination. The simple act of turning off social media while you are writing your lesson plans can be of great help. It increases your concentration and makes you think of the effective application of teaching pedagogies.
So, if you have the habit of procrastinating, I think you need to stop it quickly.
8. Attend seminars and training for professional development.
You need to grow professionally. Since your students deserve the best education and training, you need to enrich yourself with the latest trends in education and update yourselves with the useful content knowledge your students really need.
“I’m happy that you’ve chosen to be among our resource speakers today. It means that you are growing and improving as a professional. It makes me proud,” my favorite teacher remarked.
More is expected in us, my dear teachers. With the important role we play in the lives of our learners, we need an upgrade of what we know from time to time.
Using technology for example has been a trend among the young and they get interested if we integrate the advances of technology into our lessons. Therefore, we should allow ourselves to be left behind with what’s techy and advanced.
The chalk and talk may still serve for very complex explanations, but it’s not effective if it’s used all of the time. We need to get out of our comfort zones and adopt what’s essential and new.
Continuing our education can make us more confident to become effective and efficient teachers. Well, to the point, we become great teachers if we go with the flow of the technologically-paced society. What we found out yesterday may not be applicable today.
Let’s admit it, we become happier if we are confident that we have given our best to our students and they learn from us effectively.
9. Enjoy what you are doing.
Teach with a happy heart. Hum a melody while you’re correcting students’ outputs. Greet children with a smile. Laugh at them. Talk to them. Collaborate with your colleagues. Just be a happy ‘service provider’.
“Celebrate your achievements and growth. You deserve it. But don’t ever forget to reflect on things which didn’t go right,”
These are manifestations that you are enjoying your profession. Although some days are really hard and tasking, if you really love teaching, you will see it as mere spices of a delectable menu.
Evidently, if we enjoy what we are doing big tasks become lighter and we learn to endure all the hardships along the way.
10. Never think of quitting.
There are teachers who quit after they have taught for a year or two. In particular, the very reason they give up is because they don’t learn how to love teaching.
Why should you quit? Have you gained your Bachelor’s degree in education just to quit when you landed a teaching position? Were you not certain in your decisions?
The idea alone of quitting will give you negative thoughts and will make you feel restless. The improvement in your students’ performance can be your motivation to thrive and to stay happy in teaching.
Unless you are into this profession because you are just looking for a job and for the salary, you’ll really end up quitting.
Again, if you get overwhelmed in this profession, always bear in mind that you are not alone, and many are experiencing the same too. But thinking of the Q thing won’t help you at all.
If you think about making a difference in the lives of your students each day, then you need to get going, stay stronger, and be happier.
Take it from me. We can never improve the lives of our students if we are unhappy teachers. Their days will be gloomy and school for them will be a bare place of nothingness.
Studies reveal that the happier the teachers are, the more effective and the better they will be. And the inspiring thoughts I got from my favorite mentor make me even more inspired and motivated to positively impact the lives of my students so I can make them happy too.
I am truly indebted to her. Before we part ways in the story, I never forget to tell her how grateful I am for making me who I am today.
My dear fellow teachers, if there are things that can truly make us happy which I have missed mentioning on this page, feel free to share them in the comment box below.