7 Mind Skills for Teachers this Spring Break
By Thomas Haller
I know a lot of teachers. And I listen to them frequently. So it is with sufficient data that I tell you the spring break is not just for the students. Teachers need it too. Teachers are looking forward to the start of spring break just as much as their students. You know why.
Respect for teachers appears to be at an all-time low. Benefits are being cut. Class sizes are increasing. Teachers are being held accountable for student learning while accountability for students, parents, and legislators seems to be non-existent. The number of teacher's aides is being cut back. Experienced teachers are being let go. Union rights are under attack.
Educators have felt the mounting burdens. It is time to take a well-deserved break. To relax, rejuvenate and be ready to engage in the final stretch of this school year. The following list of seven mind skills for teachers can help you reset your thoughts and prepare you for the last few months of the school year.
The mind skills above can be implemented to help you create a positive frame of mind for the remainder of this school year. Use this spring break to get back in your groove and be the teacher you are meant to be.
- Remember your first day. Get back in touch with how excited you were to be a teacher on the first day you stood in front of a classroom. Reconnect with the feelings of excitement, anticipation, and joy. Recall the passion you felt that day, the sense of purpose that drove you to become an educator in the first place. Allow those feelings to fill you up. Know that you can go to that place and time whenever you desire to feel those feelings.
- Know that what is happening in education today is not about you. Refuse to take it personally. Let no legislator define your importance no matter what they say or do. What they say and do is all about them. It is not about you.
- Turn the page. Give up last week's and last month's problems. Drop old burdens. This is a new day. Literally, turn the page. Write a new goal. Make a new journal entry. Add a new favorite quote to your whiteboard. Begin again.
- Concentrate on what you are FOR rather than what you are AGAINST. Giving attention and energy to what you are against weakens you and strengthens the opposition. Energize yourself by giving your time and effort to work on what you are for, what could be, and the educational world that you envision.
- Sit still and be silent. Chaos swirls around us. To deal with that chaos effectively, learn to become quiet. Your internal guidance system will show you the way. Quiet your mind and wisdom will come.
- Accept that what is, is. Accept it on an emotional level. Yes, work to change what is with this student, this parent, this contract, on a physical level. Work to make the physical what is correspond to your greatest vision of what could be. If you invest time and energy resisting what is on an emotional level it will sap your strength for dealing with the physical level. Your greatest success of altering what is on a physical level will come if you first accept what is emotionally.
- Commit to giving your students a lot of YOU the remainder of the school year. You are the most important thing you have to offer to your students. Your classroom is you. Your Teacher Talk is you. The materials you select to use with students is you. Everything that goes on in your classroom is flavored with huge doses of you. You are your own best resource. Use it liberally.
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