1. Make time for yourself:
Teacher work days do not end with the bell. Most teachers end up staying late at school or taking work home. Sometimes they do both. Many do not even take a proper lunch break. It is important to try and take a few minutes of the day for yourself. Whether that is taking 15-20 minutes to eat something at lunch time or playing Facebook games for a few minutes before continuing work at home.
2. Make at least one “good news” phone call to a parent each week:
Call the parent of a student and tell them something good that their child did that week. It doesn’t have to be a long conversation, but it will make the parents and student happy. It also feels good to deliver a positive message every once in a while.
3. Investigate one new educational app or program a month:
There seems to be an endless influx of new educational apps and programs these days. I am not a teacher, but I am currently using a free app, Duolingo, to hopefully teach myself French. Even if you do not end up using any of the apps you test, you may come away from it with new ideas for your classroom.
4. Take fifteen minutes to write down all the positives that happen per day:
All too often, we get overwhelmed by all of the bad or annoying things that happen to us in a day. We easily forget that some good things may have happened as well. Writing down all of those good things that happen might help brighten your day and change your outlook for the better.
5. Increase positive interactions with students, especially the more challenging ones:
Students need encouragement to succeed and it can become easier just to correct without letting them know what they may have done well. Try to make sure you are not only correcting, but also let them know what they are doing well at the same time. It may not seem like much to you, but it could mean a lot to them, especially those that are struggling.
6. Walk away from any overly negative conversations with colleagues:
It is very easy to get wrapped up in a negative conversation. Everyone needs to vent now and then. However, you should try to make sure that negativity does not affect your daily performance. Students can be very perceptive. If you go into the classroom feeling down or negative, they will pick up on it which could diminish the learning environment you work so hard to create.