5 (Guaranteed!) Ways to be a Happy Teacher

Do you feel like you are a happy teacher? Do you want to be a happy teacher? You can be.

We all have our days where it seems like nothing is going right. Maybe you just had an evaluation, and it felt like it stunk up the place, or no matter what you pull out of your bag of tricks, little Johnny is just not cooperating. Maybe you’re feeling stressed and need a break. (If you’re a new teacher – you may just being going through the phases of a new teacher.)

Regardless of all the events happening right now… At this time in your life, you can still be a happy teacher.

Being a happy teacher might feel totally elusive some days--maybe a lot of days. You're struggling with classroom management, you have to deal with an angry parent, or your administrator gave you a lot of constructive criticism from your last evaluation that's making you feel self-conscious. However, it's time to let all of those things go. This post contains five guaranteed ways that you let go of classroom stress and become a happy teacher. It can happen with practice!

Five (Guaranteed!) Ways to Be a Happy Teacher

Before I begin I want to put a disclaimer (of sorts) out there. These things don’t just happen overnight. We have habits that have developed in us and sometimes take a while to break. But if you are persistent, you can break these habits, and you can 100% become happy – in ALL aspects of your life – not just teaching.

1.)  Mean what you say and only that. What I mean by this is words are powerful. I’m sure you have seen that multiple times in your classroom. Only say what you mean and leave it at that. There is no need to gossip or speak against anyone – including yourself. That leads to trouble, and it will always come back around somehow. Instead, use your words for love and truth. That builds a character of integrity, and it keeps you happy. Should you be blunt and say, “No, I don’t like that drawing. I’m just being honest?” No, because that goes against using your words for love. That will be hurtful. In that case just smile and ask questions about the drawing. When we say “yes,” when we really feel deep inside “no, I just don’t want to (or can’t),” we create a feeling of being miserable and self-loathing (or worse, resentment).

2.)  Don’t take it personally. It took me years (and sometimes I’m still working on it) to learn this one. You have to learn to not take what others say and do personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others do and say is based on their own experiences: A student pushes your buttons, you have to meet with a parent who is not happy, or the classroom just isn’t running smoothly today!

Let’s say on your way to the copier, you pass a teacher (or administrator) and greet her, but she ignores you. You start to wonder if you did something wrong. If you are like me, then you start to go through your mind of all your previous encounters with this person wondering if you said or did something. The reality is that the person you passed may have had a bad morning, nearly experienced a car wreck on the way to school, or just had a bad conversation with a parent on the phone and was deep in thought as she passed you. She didn’t mean to ignore you, but it happened based off of her experiences that morning. You may have taken it personally when in reality it really had nothing to do with you.
3.)  Don’t make assumptions.  This right here, in my opinion, is the number one issue with communication. Many people make assumptions without finding out what is really going on first. I do it. I’m willing to bet you have probably done it. Instead of making assumptions, just ask questions. And to communicate clearly, express what you want, so people don’t have to try to guess. 🙂

4.)  Always do your best.  This will change from time to time because our best is very different when we are sick versus when we are healthy. But instead of abusing yourself with self-judgment or regretting mistakes you have made, look forward to the wonderful success you will have in the future. I strongly believe that if you think positively, positive things will happen. Is it always easy? No, but you have to at least try!

and finally…

5.)  Love and forgive.  Everyone has their own story and their own issues. Everyone. We all need love and forgiveness – provide both for everyone. When we carry around hate and anger toward others, it creates this energy inside us, this tension, that makes us unhappy. But when we are loving and forgiving, we feel at peace… It’s a good feeling.

To be a happy teacher… It just takes five things – but you’ll have to work on these five things daily! I know you can do it! If you need to print these things to remind yourself – do it!

No matter how hard teaching is – life is – just remember, you CAN be happy! And it’s AMAZING being happy!

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