Professional Educators Network of Florida Offers Seven Habits to Keep You Happy in Teaching
By: Lindsey Bailey
We all know that teaching can be tough. The list of demands and deadlines are endless. And let’s face it. There aren’t a lot of people knocking down your classroom door to say thank you. That’s ok though because being a teacher really is a pretty amazing profession. You are investing in our future. It may be helpful to implement some ‘happy habits’ into your life to remind you why you chose to be a teacher in the first place. The happiness you reap from your new ‘happy habits’ will help you avoid the burnout that many teachers experience. Professional Educators Network of Florida, better known as PEN of Florida, offers seven habits to keep you happy in teaching.
1.Write down one funny or clever thing a student did or said each day.
Read over your list when you are having a rough moment to remember why you love what you do.
2. Give a genuine compliment to a colleague each and every day.
It’s amazing what a kind word can do for someone else’s spirits. And it is even more amazing to be the one dishing out those compliments. Just make sure they are sincere. There is something incredible about taking the time to see the good in people and celebrating that.
3. Implement one new habit for your health each month.
In January, you may drink a glass of water in the mornings. And then in February, you might take a ten-minute walk after school to relieve some stress. After the year is over, you will have 12 new healthy habits. A healthier you will make a happier teacher.
4. Choose one word in which to focus for the entire year.
Read books about it. Meditate on it. And begin to see the world and your classroom through the lenses of that word. It’s amazing how one word becomes a part of who you are by the year’s end. And since it is just one word, it is easy to follow through.
5. Read one new book each month that focuses on growing professionally or personally.
Continuing to grow individually and professionally will guard against that stagnant place of boredom that can happen mid-career.
6. Invest in your passion (outside of teaching).
What makes you feel most alive? Is it spending time in nature, cooking, playing music, or fishing? Think about it. There is no right or wrong answer. Everyone’s ‘most alive’ moments are unique to them. The important thing is to remember what makes you feel most alive and take time for that. You are worth the time. This will guard against the burn out so many teachers experience.
7. Make time for friendship
Our lives are busy, and it takes a concerted effort to connect with friends. Even if it is a once a month Bunco game or a night out to dinner, make it happen. There is nothing like a good night out with friends. The laughter it can bring is like therapy. You will be better for it, and your family and students will reap the benefits too.
Implementing a few ‘happy habits’ into your life can make a big difference for you and your students. We hope these tips help keep you happy in teaching for many years to come.
Professional Educators Network of Florida (PEN) is a professional organization for teachers and support staff throughout the state of Florida. PEN offers liability protections, legal representation, professional development, networking opportunities in the Sunshine State. To learn more about PEN, visit penfl.org.