Inspiring Words for Overworked Teachers
Teachers make the world go round.
They offer guidance and support. They offer comfort and solace. They do so much more than choreograph their classroom as a space for learning.
This article is for all of the teachers out there. If you aren’t a teacher yourself, then we hope this can also be a takeaway on how you can support the teachers in your own life.
Teaching a classroom full of children can be hard. In the same way that being a primary adult in any child’s life is. Admitting that is okay, and experiencing challenges is normal. On those days, we hope that this blog post can serve as a space of encouragement.
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You Are Making a Difference
Sometimes just by showing up you are making a difference. You are creating a place for students to go to during the school week that is a consistent space. Consistency for children is vital.
Offering that structure with a schedule and flow is already meeting an important need for students.
Many teachers know that what they do in the classroom isn’t just about academics. The children in your classrooms are also forming bonds, and are part of a community. There are inherent dynamics here that support interpersonal skill building. Especially in a STEM (Science, Technology, Education, and Math) based classroom.
While having students “tattle tail” on their classmates isn’t always ideal. Those moments are opportunities for us to respond and provide guidance. To set guidelines for how all students can respond in those situations. With this guidance you are providing confidence and problem solving skills that will stay with them for life.
Every Day Won’t Be a Win
On some days you might be asking yourself, “WHY do my students have so much energy?” That is a great question to ask yourself, and there is a science behind that. Don’t worry you are not alone in that thought either (as a parent or a teacher)!
There are times where it might feel like your class has tons of energy or no motivation at all. There might be bumps in the road that you least expect. Lesson plans thrown out the window for the day.
Whatever it is, just know that sometimes there are things simply out of our control. Things that you aren’t prepared for even if you are the most prepared teacher. Just remember on these days that you are doing the best that you can.
If you’re struggling with over-energetic kids in your class, you’ll find our article helpful. Why Are Kids so Energetic: How to Channel Their Energy.
You Are Doing the Best That You Can
It is important to give yourself compassion. As Brene Brown says, “no matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.” As teachers there is always something to do. From lesson planning, grading, emails, and more.
The job does not end once the bell rings. This can feel like a never-ending list of tasks. In those moments, remember that what is not done will get done. Be gentle on yourself and slow down to understand what takes priority.
Your Teaching Style Matters
Your approach to teaching matters just as much as the next teacher’s. As teachers, you all come with a set of unique skills and personality traits.
What makes you a good teacher is your own unique skill set. Children benefit from having an array of adults and role models in their life.
While what you offer your students may not resonate every moment with every student. It is still making a difference to someone in that classroom. You will always be the one to know your classroom best, and to know your group of students best. Trust that your teaching style will fit with what you know about your students.
Connect with Colleagues & Share Experiences
Teaching is one of the most essential jobs in the world. It is a job that requires immense dedication, resilience, and passion. Yet, it often comes with moments of discouragement and exhaustion. That’s why words of encouragement are so important to teachers.
They help to motivate and inspire them to continue their hard work, even when they feel like giving up. Teachers are always looking for ways to improve their craft.
As a result, they welcome constructive criticism with open arms. In fact, the best way to motivate a teacher is to offer specific tips and advice on how they can improve their teaching methods or lesson plan.
If you’re looking for more tools to help out in the classroom, please take a look at our article, How to Use STEM Teaching Tools in Your Classroom.
Celebrate Small Victories & Appreciate Effort
As a teacher, you may feel overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted at many moments throughout the day. It can be challenging to stay motivated and continue to bring enthusiasm and passion to your job.
But it is important to remember that teaching is one of the most rewarding professions in the world. So, every time you get a chance to teach a new concept, celebrate that moment. And even when you feel like it’s been an especially tough day, take a moment to acknowledge the effort your students are putting in.
Take Time for Yourself
This one is a BIG one. As the old saying goes, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” As a teacher you are constantly emptying your cup. You are holding down the fort. You are giving hugs when needed. You are making calls to reassure parents. At the end of the day the most important thing you can do for yourself, is take time for yourself.
Self care is a buzzword out there, and there is a reason. It is much more than getting a pedicure and taking a nap though. I encourage you to think about your own self care in an intentional way. When you are burnt out at the end of the school week, think to yourself, “what am I needing right now? How can I best care for myself?” Below are some examples of that.
Maybe you need rest. Rest that forces you to plan it into your weekend with no structure around it. It could be going to a park and reading a book. It could be laying down for a few minutes of silence. Physical self care includes movement, but it can also include providing your body with more than just that.
If you had a long week of teaching, think about writing down all of your feelings. Streamline every thought and feeling into a journal. One that is for you and your eyes only. When you write it down, that can help get it out of your head and heart.
Find ways to engage your brain in different ways. Maybe that is through a puzzle, crossword, or watercolor painting. This is self care for your brain!
Connect with loved ones who are outside of the classroom. Those who are supportive, can be a listening ear, or even provide stories outside of being a teacher. Your relationships outside of the classroom are incredibly important.
Being a teacher can be filled with so much purpose. No matter your reason for why you choose this profession, there is room to see tangible impact in the work you do. On days where it feels difficult, or even on days where it is joy filled. We hope these words of encouragement can be thoughtful reminders on how special you as a teacher really are!
Make sure to take a look at our article, 85+ Words of Encouragement for Kids to Uplift & Inspire Them.