Education: The Thankless Profession
If you’ve been an educator, you know this reality all too well. Test scores are never high enough, engagement is never cutting-edge enough, and the public opinion of your profession is as reliable as students coming to class with a pencil. If you haven’t been an educator, you’ll just have to trust the experts in this one…
Most of us really did enter this profession for the children and the future of our communities but MAN! A “thank you” every now and again from our leaders wouldn’t hurt (and I’m not talking about a “You’re MINT to be here,” note). Teacher appreciation and affirmation go a long way so when I realized it was something my leaders wouldn’t always give me, I found some ways to pick myself up on the worst of days. Here are five ways to find the “atta boy!” you might be looking for.
1. Call your teacher bestie.
Call your teacher bestie. When you feel like you have worked so hard and done so well but it wasn’t recognized, a teacher bestie can always be counted on to remind you how fabulous you are!
2. Turn your eyes back to the kids.
Turn your eyes back to the kids. Sometimes they’re affirming you left and right but it’s gone unnoticed because they do it in sweet kid ways. A paper airplane left as a gift, your name shouted down the hallway, or even just a greeting as they enter your class. These are all ways kids are trying to say, “Thank you.”
3. Contact parents.
Contact parents. But not for discipline reasons. I have found one of the best ways to put myself in a great mood is to look for the great things happening in your classroom. Has Susie shown huge improvements lately? Call her parents. Did Johnny go out of his way to be helpful to others? Write his parents an email. By looking for positives in your students and sharing them with their adults, you are spreading joy and you’ll find it to be just the affirmation you need.
4. Ask a respected teacher to come observe you.
Ask a respected teacher to come observe you. I’m talking about that teacher that you watch and think, “How do they love kids so well AND teach content so well.” See if they will come watch you and give you some honest feedback. You will definitely learn something and people that love kids well tend to also love other people well.
Rest. So often when we feel undervalued it’s because we are actually overworking ourselves. You can’t do it all and no one expects you to.
So, if you are feeling undervalued and unappreciated, hear me when I say that you are doing a great job! Even though I am not in your classroom, I believe in all teachers and believe they need more recognition for their thankless work. Especially ones who give up their free time to read teaching blogs to improve their teaching and gain perspective. Well done, friend! 👏
Would you like to read more ideas on how to deal with the difficulties of teaching? Check out this post, Eight Ways to Disconnect from a Hard Day. You also deserve a free resource, so here is one from my store. Grab this Adding Integer activity here.