Loving what you do is sometimes easier said than done. As a teacher my heart rejoices when a student reaches understanding of a difficult concept or when a student gets excited about coming to class. During late Fall though it is all too common place to fall on the other side of love, the painful side where circumstances try to convince you that you do not love your job. You put your heart, soul, emotions, and sometimes well being into the job, and wonder if you are making a difference. Seeing growth in student’s takes time, and burn out is high in the teaching profession. It is important to focus on the little milestones. The day to day has many joys and much heartache, so it is all about staying focused on the good you are making in the classroom. Actively seek out the things that made you choose teaching and try to block out the rest.
Teaching in late Fall is much like swimming to a distant shore. The paperwork, the e-mails, and low grades can create an ocean so deep and vast that you feel alone without hope of survival. You feel your muscles fatigue and contemplate giving up. The more you swim and use those muscles, the greater the pain sometimes feels. Sometimes you just have to lay back, relax, and take a deep breath while watching the clear blue sky. Doing so allows you to float while you recharge those aching muscles so you can find your inner calm. Once your strength is back you can regain your treading towards the shore that will eventually come. Find the good in the day-to-day, search for the clam, and do not be afraid to let yourself relax so you can come back stronger the next day or the next week.
Give yourself a break so you can keep loving what you do, even when times are hard.
Alicia is in her 8th year of teaching STEM contents with public schools. She believes in the power of education to improve peoples lives.