Teaching is tough, but investing in yourself can help. There is no doubt about it. We, as teachers, have to take care of ourselves to ensure we are our best for students. When the going gets tough, it is important to remember to take some time for ourselves.
By investing in yourself you signal your body, mind, and soul of the value you place upon them. This means you have a clearer way of making decisions and putting your students’ best interests in the forefront.
By following a few tips for investing in yourself as a teacher you can see some major results!
Investing in Yourself by Trusting Your Gut
Teachers have an amazing gut instinct, and we need to learn to follow it more often.
Instead of getting caught up in what we should be doing, trust your gut and go after what is best for your students. The truth is you know your students far better than anyone else. Trust this, and follow the path you believe is best.
I am not saying to throw everything out the window and make life miserable for your admin. What I am saying is be willing to fight for your students and what is best.
This might mean rearranging your schedule to better suit your students’ needs. Or it might mean you go to a workshop to learn more about social-emotional learning in the classroom.
Trusting your gut in an investment in yourself, because it means you value your intuition.
Investing in Yourself by Honoring Your Time
Truer words were never spoken than the phrase, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
This phrase is especially powerful for teachers because we are constantly giving of ourselves to our students, their families, and others. The truth is though, if we leave nothing for ourselves then we are doing a disservice to all.
When you choose to prioritize your commitments and honor your time you are investing in yourself and your students. Honoring your time shows what you value and allows you to be a better teacher.
The best way to honor your time is by saying no to overcommitting yourself. Check out this post for How to Say No.
Investing in Yourself by Setting Goals
As teachers, we are constantly setting goals for our students, but often we forget about ourselves.
This can have disastrous effects because as learning professionals it is our job to ensure everyone is continually learning, including ourselves.
Without specific and achievable goals we are left in a bit of a learning wasteland without direction. With goals, we
can be more purposeful in our learning as well as our students’ learning.
Setting goals can be an exciting part of being in the classroom, especially when you celebrate achieving them.
My preference has always been to have one overarching goal and several smaller goals which will help me to achieve it. This means more celebrations along the way and an increased chance of making it all happen.
Investing in Yourself by Choosing Happiness
There are a lot of things in the classroom that make it easy to get down on yourself and others. Instead of letting this happen, choose happiness.
This doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to anything going wrong and carry on but instead choosing happiness despite what is going wrong while still working to correct it.
Investing in yourself by choosing happiness means you see the forest and the trees, but choose to maintain a positive outlook for both you and your students.
Investing in Yourself by Surrounding Yourself with Positive People
While you are choosing happiness go ahead and surround yourself with others who are making the same choice.
It takes a village, so why not make it a positive village.
Again, it doesn’t mean you have to be Polly Positive all the time, and neither do those around you. When you surround yourself with positive people it gives you the grace to have a bad day. Essentially, because you know it is just that. A bad day, not a bad life.
Positivity is contagious and will spread like wildfire when given a chance.
While there are many ways to invest in yourself as a teacher it is easy to start small by trusting your gut, setting goals, saying no to overcommitment, choosing happiness, and surrounding yourself with others who do the same.
These choices will permeate your teacher life and continue to lift you up!
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