Maintaining Hope as a Teacher
Author: Tez Brooks
You have an important role in society
Teaching is difficult enough as it is, but it can be even harder when struggle with discouragment. How do you maintain hope to make a difference?
You have an important role in society; the unique function of a teacher, a job we cannot do without. Yet the attrition factor for educators reveals something sad. While 15% of U.S. teachers leave each year, over 40% of new teachers quit in the first five years. Most of these teachers failed to recharge, resulting in occupational burnout.
Students can be challenging for teachers. They misbehave, test your patience, and outright rebel against your authority. It seems you can never let your guard down, lest they take you for a pushover.
No doubt there are times you wonder if it’s worth it. Perhaps changing to another grade level would be easier—maybe even a different career altogether. There is an ancient proverb that contains a promise often ascribed to parents: children will one day return to follow the lessons they’ve been taught. But teachers can lean on this truth, too.
What a wonderful thought to realize you have a powerful and positive influence on each student in your class. The call to educate is rewarding but not without challenges. Perhaps this is why teachers, like students, get breaks for holidays and summers—for mental health and time to refresh and reboot.
But with the pressure to volunteer for afterschool events and grading papers long into the night, when do you get time for physical, mental, and even spiritual renewal? This predicament is compounded by personal or family responsibilities.
Think about it–every day you pour yourself into your students. Who pours into you?
It’s vital you take time away to restore your mind, your body, and your soul. Only then can you return to teaching revived and ready to face the world. If you have ever considered prayer as a way to refresh and restore yourself, this might be a good start for spiritual renewal. To refresh yourself physically or mentally, try a spa day or indulge in your favorite hobby.
As you interact with students, parents, co-workers, and supervisors, remember this; if you are to be a positive role model in your school, take time daily to fill yourself with hope. Only then will you be able to avoid burnout, making a difference in this world.
You may be a vision caster, spokesperson, coach, or an agent of change. Whatever your leadership style, do what you can to instruct, encourage, and challenge.
There is hope for this task. Rest in the knowledge that you were created for this. You have been equipped and trained for the job. What an honor! What will you do today to strategically integrate hope into your own life and your lesson plans? For more encouragement check out 10 Ways Teachers Can Cultivate Gratitude.
About the Author
Tez Brooks is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and international speaker serving as faculty at writer’s conferences nationwide. He currently serves on our journalism team at ISP. Some of Tez’s work can be found in family-related publications across the country. He and his wife have four children and live in Colorado.
Find out more at tezbrooks.com