4 Ways Educators Can Keep the Pace Through May
Four Ways that Educators Can Keep the Pace Through May
Educators know how hard it can be to keep up the momentum and remain focused throughout the school year. So many barriers distract educators into a negative downward spiral during the last quarter of the school year. Last minute referrals, endless meetings, paperwork, depleted funds for needed supplies, broken equipment, and unrealistic expectations all take their toll on an educator’s perseverance. Anyone who has worked in education can relate to these obstacles. Somehow, they seem to surmount by the last month or two of school and weigh on educators like a ton of bricks.
So how do we remain positive and not let the weight of it all accumulate to unmanageable levels?
1. Birds of a Feather Flock Together
You know the colleagues that are always upbeat and can inspire you to try new ideas, well keep them close. Now more than ever, educators need to surround themselves with others who radiate positive energy. Find the colleagues and parents who see the good in any situation and share funny stories about something a student told them or a cute end result to a project. They may share a great teaching strategy or inspiring video they just watched. Why not make this person you? Help spread the hope and positivity so that it becomes a mindset! Take on the goal of motivating a colleague who you've observed wearing down.
2. Spark New Creativity
It is important to explore the unknown. Routine and habit can squash creativity in our practices. Take time to search those new activities on Pinterest or Facebook. Join professional social media groups and share ideas. Observe a co-worker in the classroom or co-teach a class to pick up new lesson plan ideas. So much can be gained by observing others in action. We can pick up new activity ideas, methods for grouping students, ways to assess student performance, or creative unit projects. All too often we succumb to the comfort of our own four walls and miss out on techniques that can spark new inspiration. Putting yourself in the role of the learner can lead to unexpected creativity.
3. Laugh With Your Students
Education has become increasingly politicized over the years and the negativity surrounding publicity can be very troubling. The best way to combat this negativity is to find laughter in your day. Laughter can significantly reduce our stress levels during the day. When we laugh, our body releases endorphins and can help cheer us up and feel on top of the world! Laughter can also help us improve our relationships with our peers and students. The happier we are, the more approachable we become to others, the brighter we make our surroundings, and the more opportunities we create for positive social interactions. So take time daily to seek ways to find humor with your colleagues and students! Start a “joke of the day” or a short share time to tell about something funny that happened in your day. Take advantage of natural opportunities to chuckle as they arise in the classroom, office, or playground.
4. Finding Gratitude
"Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." -- William Arthur Ward
Education can feel like a roller coaster ride most days. If we can find ways to be grateful for each expected and unexpected moment, our days can transform into blessings. It can take years to realize the effect we may be having on our students so it is important to make the most of each moment we spend with them. Students can warm your heart in the most surprising ways and lasting memories can be made daily. Gratitude can fuel educational transformation beginning in your classroom.
About the Author: Kelly Ott has over 22 years experience as a licensed speech language pathologist, consultant, educator and administrator. Kelly has served children and adults with a diverse range of speech, language, swallowing, learning, and communication needs. She has provided direct speech pathology services, specialized tutoring services, educator professional development training, business communication and presentation training. Kelly is dedicated to providing students, educators, and parents with specialized strategies for achievement.