This post is dedicated to Sophia, one of my best students who has started her teaching career. I wish her all the best on this path!
While getting a degree, we usually try to visualize ourselves as successful professionals brilliantly doing our jobs. How desperate it feels when the real picture turns out to be far from one, we dreamed of.
Having many years of teaching experience, I can’t help praising those who have made that life changing choice to become a teacher. This profession is known to be one of the hardest in the world but at the same time the most fulfilling. From the top of fifteen-years experience I can compare the teaching path to a roller-coaster, with a lot of ups, downs and loop-the-loops. How not to lose the direction while getting out from another loop? Here are a few reasons and tips!
Exactly autumn. It is not rocket science why the majority feels a bit down during this season. Even though we can rest our eyes on those beautiful colours that all the trees and bushes normally turn into, the days are becoming shorter… it is already chilly in the mornings and evenings, and wearing another layer reminds us about the coming cold winter. So, it is extremely hard to get out of a warm bed full of energy and positive vibes.
It is the best time to light some candles at home. It adds extra warmth into the cosy home atmosphere… you can do it as the second thing after waking up. Exactly around this time of the year I almost never leave home without my thermo cup of aromatic Masala tea with some spices that keep me warm and bring some pleasant memories of the distant country. Workwise, I usually try to start a few new projects with students, so my attention is focused on new beginnings that almost always has positive outcome.
Expectation vs Reality. One of the drawbacks that young teachers usually face is the image of a perfect group to work with. I am not an exception and had to overcome this boundary as well. Unfortunately, you should develop a certain level of expertise and authority first, as only having something appreciable to put on the table, can give you the right to work with particular groups, levels or age.
Keep in mind that each academic group is unique, so the main professional goal should be to find the right approach to the students. If you manage that right, positive feedback won’t keep you waiting long. It will become a huge dose of energy and as a result will bring a lot of creativity into your performance. In other words, try to find something good in the worst group, from the first sight, and don’t forget to add your own professional touch to your teaching.
Time for a new hobby. Vitamins are advised to be taken seasonally; the same pattern can be adopted to hobbies. I understand that we are suffering from a lack of free time, especially when warm a blanket is tempting… to be wrapped around with a mug of tea or coffee. But there are so many things that you can do indoors, like taking some light-hearted or heavy courses online, you can take up stretching sessions, finding some tutorials on YouTube or just do colouring or puzzles. So, you can get the best from the two worlds! The key is to add something that you normally don’t do during summer, that means that you will not dive into a nostalgic mood recalling vacation time in Thailand. Remember, doing something for yourself can be turned into a hobby as well that will help you with work/life balance.
These are some of the tips that might help if you are a young teacher to get out of the loop, or a professional to live through another autumn. If you know something that should be in this list leave a comment. Enjoy your coffee!