Staying in touch with the reasons you became a teacher is one of the best ways to ensure you don’t get jaded and lose your enthusiasm in the rigmarole and bureaucracy of teaching life. Over time, people tend to see more obstacles and allow the politics to rob them of the joy of the job. What a tragedy.
The idealism you started out with is very important and doesn’t have to die a slow death. Protect your passion for teaching by taking just a little time out to refresh your mission at the start of each new year. Sit down with pen and a pretty journal, and work through the following questions:
- What is my mission as a teacher? Why am I here?
- What am I most focused on modeling to and teaching my students?
- What goals do I want to achieve this year to improve my teaching practice?
- What is my view of students?
- What goals do I want to achieve this year in my personal, physical, mental or spiritual life?
- How will I stay refreshed and relaxed this year?
- If things get difficult this year, where or to whom can I go for help?
Sometimes we already know the answer to these questions. Sometimes we haven’t stopped to think about them for a very long time, and have forgotten what’s really important. Either way, if we make the time to reflect, and keep these pointers in mind, they can shape the way we approach and react to our day-to-day life at school. With regular renewed focus, we can keep ourselves and our busy lives as teachers on a positive track.