Happy Teachers, a Necessity
Does the state of mind of a teacher have an impact on the classroom? Research establishes that a happy teacher translates into a happy classroom. However, are there any steps that can be taken to ensure that a teacher is happy?
Does the role of a teacher in the class begin and end with implementing a lesson? What is her contribution to how a class plays out? Is it only about her expertise and understanding of the subject? The answer to this, in broad terms, is “no.” The role of a teacher goes way beyond just teaching. He or she is the bridge between the acquisition of knowledge and the creation of a relationship with the learning environment. The teacher helps students in understanding the importance of the time spent in the classroom and assists them in understanding their skills and interests. Overall, a teacher needs to be fully invested in the well-being of the students.
However, in the current scenario, teachers are overworked and stressed. The demands on their time are immense and the expectations from them are sometimes unrealistic. They play multiple roles, spanning from planning to execution, and at times even those that are beyond their scope of work. In this scenario, it is close to impossible for them to give in 100 percent. And as a result, they may not be able to create an environment that is happy. Realistically, unless a person has a balanced lifestyle, is contended in terms of work, and is happy and satisfied on the personal front, he or she cannot create a happy environment.
Some simple strategies that can assist teachers in creating a work-life balance, despite the unending demands, and can help them in creating a happier environment are as follows.
The importance of being present and focusing on the task at hand has been repeatedly stressed. By paying attention to the task in hand, whether that is preparing a report, working on a lesson plan, or speaking with a child, one can truly perform and respond to the demands better. This can enhance productivity multifold.
Speak your mind
At times, the demands being made on our time may be unrealistic. In such situations, it is imperative to say so and refuse to accommodate the unrealistic demands. However, the decision to refuse should be well thought out. If administrators and decision-makers know that a teacher would only refuse to accommodate a request or demand only if it is truly impossible for them to fulfill it, they will be more accepting.
Balance your energy
It is important for teachers to understand that humanly it isn’t possible to have high energy levels at all times. They need to give themselves opportunities to take a break and during this time they can focus on activities that give them and the children some time to slow down. These phases of calm can act as rejuvenating moments and can help teachers to bounce back with higher energy.
It cannot be questioned that a happier teacher would imply that the class has a happier environment. Achieving this may be difficult but is definitely not impossible. It is imperative for school administrators and leaders to focus on ensuring that teachers are happy. And teachers themselves must also realize that their happiness translates into a happier classroom and happier students.