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Change your mindset. Change your teaching life.

Last post, I talked about how we needed to change our expectations.  Today, I’m going to concede that it’s simply not that easy to do. You aren’t going to follow those steps I laid out for you in Want to love your job again? and suddenly become happy.  However, what you can do is start to slowly change your mindset over time.  Then, and only then, can you experience happiness.

Let’s practice with a few different ideas.

  1. You get a nasty email from a parent and start to lean into the fight.  The parent is upset that their child is in trouble and demands answers now.  How can you change your mindset about this obviously annoying situation.  First, be mad if you want to, vent about it, talk to your significant other or best teacher friend. Then, when you are done with that, we can start dealing with the reality.  This parent is upset because their child is upset and they’d like an explanation.  Change your mindset from “wow, how dare him/her!” to “hm…they sound upset because their child is upset. I wonder how we can work together.”  Instead of getting defensive, choose to wonder how you can work through this to best benefit the child.
  2. You are upset that your kids are barely listening today, and the one student got out of their seats frequently after you told them not to, and you are at the end of your rope about behaviors.  Instead of cracking up and going into a spiral about how children are so disrespectful these days (but I mean…anyway…), go into a mode of wonder.

Accept that they are where they are, and be able to start pursuing solutions almost immediately. What has changed? Why are they suddenly struggling? Why does that student need to get up, do we need more brain breaks? Have you approached things differently? At the end of the day, you need to solve this problem. Spend your energy making that work, instead of placing your anger out on the kids.

Changing your mindset means you have to be willing to make concessions that your job is hard, different, and much more challenging than it ever was before.  This is the time to ask yourself if you want to make yourself happy, or spend your energy complaining about how it used to be?  Changing your mindset requires discipline, letting go of your right to be angry, and accepting that it is your responsibility to have a good life – no one else’s.

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