How can we prepare ourselves for the new term?
As I look outside the window I cannot help but hear the distant cries of teachers across the UK. Why are all the teachers crying you may ask? Well, it is because the half term break is nearly over and many of us will be experiencing something known as the half term blues.
But these feelings of sadness need not hinder us, our return to work does not need to be a difficult transition.
We have the skill set to determine our fate, of how our return to work will plan out, it can either be smooth and also a pleasant experience or it can feel like a car crashing into a brick wall. What is very exciting and freeing, is that we get to decide!
8 Ways To Stay Motivated
You might be asking yourself… well how do I do that? Below is a list of suggestions on how we can prepare ourselves and get motivated for the new term.
1. Focus on the positive
Remember some of the amazing times and experiences you have had so far. Due to the reflective nature of a teachers make up, we can often at times only focus on the things that have maybe not gone to plan or have not met our expectations.
Although self-reflection is an essential skill to become a successful human being (let alone being an accomplished teacher), it can at times be our downfall. Try to look back at your experiences and note the things that have been successful or more importantly fun.
This is something that I would try to apply day to day: say “What went well?” rather than always focusing on “What went wrong?”
Adopt a 2% mindset and focus on the positive.
2. Remember you have a soul
You are a critical element in the system of the education machine. In order for this part to function to the best of it’s ability, it is important that you provide it with the care and maintenance that it needs.
I like to ensure that I have planned days where I do not take any work home and that I make plans within my week for activities such as ballroom dancing, cycling, yoga and writing.
You will have you own interests that you could engage within and in turn by participating within these activities you can be assured that it will nurture your soul and in turn improve your well-being and your overall performance as a teacher.
3. Remember why you went into teaching
Try to reflect on the reasons you trained for so long and chose the profession of teaching.
So often we can get bogged down with the state of the education system, the work load and the pressures, that we forget that there were thought processes and experiences that led us to making this choice.
By remembering our roots we are able to find that fire in our bellies again to get us excited about our careers again. Also I find watching the film Freedom Writers can reignite my passions again!
4. “Look beyond what you see.”
I do enjoy this quote from the epic film the Lion King, the reason being that depending upon you circumstances it can resonate with people in a variety of ways and have so many different meanings.
We tend to focus on the things in the education system that are making us feel sad, but it is important to also look within.
What is holding you back? What experiences or life lessons have you been through that have caused the development of you current mindset and behaviours that follow because of this. Sometimes it can be the hidden demons within us that hold us back from our true happiness.
5. Avoid workplace dramas
It is safe to say that it does not matter which work place you attend there is always going to be a certain amount of gossip circulating or drama occurring.
Try to stay clear of these types of conversations, they can eat up a lot of your precious time and can leave you feeling down trodden and exhausted.
6. Use your time wisely
Everyone has their own way of carrying out their day. For me I like to use to do lists to make sure I am as productive as I possibly can be (I even have a delegate list on the side).
By using an effective system that works for you, you can ensure that you work effectively and productively, reducing the level of work that you take home.
7. Draw the line
If you arrive early to work then leave earlier. If you arrive later to work then leave later.
Set yourself times and deadlines or what hours you are going to work and stick to them to avoid burnout. Too often teachers allow their workload to unnecessarily eat into their personal time which is unacceptable and should not be an expectation.
Treat your work as if if were an office job.. “right I have two hours to complete X, Y and Z as I am not allowed to take any of this home”. Give it and try and see how much better you feel.
8. Avoid procrastination
Sometimes if there is a lot of work to be done we can feel overwhelmed and then indulge in behaviours that eat up our previous time.
Do not get into the habit of allowing your time to be eaten up. Time restraints are not fun and they can often lead to us feeling more stressed and overworked. If we spread our time wisely our jobs can be spread out evenly. Panic does not have to be a normal part of our day!
I wish you a wonderful and stress free return to work. YOU CAN DO IT!