Home Today's Paper Most Popular Video Gallery Photo Gallery
Subscription Blog Signin Register
Friday, October 18, 2019 06:15:18 AM
Follow Us On: Facebook Twitter Twitter Twitter Twitter

Passion for Teaching

Inspiration and purpose that work behind

Inspiration and purpose that work behind
photo by

Share your thought
Post a comment »
Read all () »

Amy L. Eva :
When I posed this question to a group of teachers recently, no one focused on academics. Instead, their responses centered on their students' engagement, the sense of participating in something larger than themselves, and the deep satisfaction they gained from relationship building.
"When my students make me laugh, and when they do that 'oooooooooohhh' sound that kids do when they finally 'get' it," confessed a fifth-grade teacher. "Knowing the work you do is bigger than yourself is what keeps me motivated," said a university professor.
A 20-year veteran kindergarten teacher said this: "It's still the relationships I build every year that give me the most meaning. … Even now I get in the car at the end of the day and think, What was great about today? What was hard? How can I improve tomorrow?"
If you are feeling a bit worn down right now and need some inspiration, here are five practical ways to pause, reflect on your work, reconnect with your role and purpose. It hopefully goes without saying that these tips aren't just for teachers-they can be adapted by almost anyone who needs to reignite his or her passion for work.
1. Revisit your story
Researchers remind us that having a purpose in life is crucial for our health, longevity, and well-being. At the Greater Good Science Center's Summer Institute for Educators, we invite educators to reflect more deeply on their purpose and identity in the following activity, which you can do at home (in your pajamas with your favorite beverage):
Create a brief timeline of several major events, turning points, and epiphanies that made you the person and education professional you are today.
Choose two or three of these events and reflect on each one. What feelings do you associate with the event? What lessons emerged for you? What obstacles and supports did you encounter? Did you learn anything about your strengths, weaknesses, motives, and values from this event?
Overall, what story does your timeline tell about who you are?
According to psychologists, we all have an internalized narrative that explains how we became the person we are today and where we are headed tomorrow. As we revisit our story, it can help us to understand how and why we became an educator. It may also help us to answer the question "Who do I want to become?"
2. Celebrate a favorite teacher or mentor
Here is another simple exercise to try at home or in a staff meeting. If you try this activity with colleagues, partner up and stand back to back while listening to each question read aloud; next, turn and face each other as you share your responses. The process of pausing, reflecting, and then listening to your partner, in close proximity, may help you to focus more on the words and emotions shared.
Describe the teacher or mentor who had the most influence on you.
How did you feel when you were with this person?
How did you change as a result of this person?
How did this person shape your life as an education professional?
Bonus: If we lean on each other for social support (and inspiration), we are less likely to be depressed and more likely to be resilient at work.
3. Connect with like-minded colleagues
When I talk with teachers, I often recall an image of myself during my first year of high school teaching. I would escape into my little cubby-hole of an office at lunchtime and lie flat on my back with the lights out. I felt totally overwhelmed and isolated that year; I was trying my hardest to meet the needs of 163 students every day, and I was physically and emotionally exhausted. The principal stepped into my classroom only once that year, and the teachers down the hall kept to themselves.
We can't do this alone. And there are lots of opportunities to connect (especially if you feel like you don't have the time). I know groups of teachers who meet weekly at a restaurant or bar to grade papers and talk. I know teachers who run together, meditate together, and camp together.
4. Prioritize your well-being
If you are a teacher, there are probably plenty of obstacles preventing you from engaging in self-care. We teachers are notoriously resistant to helping ourselves out. So perhaps the argument below might convince you that your personal and professional well-being must be your number one imperative.
A recent report by the Aspen Institute, "The Evidence for How We Learn," makes it crystal clear: "For social, emotional, and academic development to thrive in schools, teachers and administrators need … support to understand and model these skills, behaviors, knowledge, and beliefs." Children learn social-emotional skills by being exposed to adult behavior. "If a teacher doesn't have a level of social-emotional competence … then he or she is sending mixed messages," writes Patricia Jennings, in her book Mindfulness for Teachers.
In addition to seeking out social support, there are many other research-based strategies for self-care, including physical exercise, mindfulness, self-compassion, and cognitive reappraisal (reframing your thoughts in response to a challenging exchange with a student, for example). There's also a place for just forcing yourself to get up and go to that party even though you want to curl up in a ball on the couch-a technique psychologists call behavioral activation.
"Self-care is not a luxury," write John Norcross and James Guy. "It is a human requisite, a professional necessity, and an ethical imperative."
5. Create a resilience plan
Of course, developing social-emotional skills takes time, and resilience is an ongoing, dynamic process of adaptation and growth. So, why not create a plan?
Consider (or try out) some of the research-based practices above
Notice which ones seem appealing, enjoyable, or helpful
Think about how you might incorporate one of these into your life
Choose one self-care strategy or practice to implement in your daily life (or almost every day) for at least 5-10 minutes. (Keep it simple.)
What kinds of obstacles and barriers might arise? How might you address those obstacles? How will you encourage yourself to prioritize this plan?
As you commit to a plan, keep holding on to the parts of your work that give you meaning. And remember the wise words of a teacher I know: "Care for yourself as hard as you care for those kids."

(Amy L. Eva, Ph.D., is the associate education director at the Greater Good Science Center. She writes for the center's online magazine, facilitates the Summer Institute for Educators, and consults on the development of GGSC education resources).

Add Rate

News Archive

Inside The New Nation

Editorial »

Tackle urban poverty with well-designed safety nets

A WORLD Bank report stated that most of the urban poor are deprived of the government's social protection benefits. There is a large gap in allocation under social safety net, though the pace of poverty reduction has slowed and the ratio of extreme poverty edged up in urban areas after ...

Cricket »

Tamim Iqbal unlikely in T20 series in India

Bangladesh Opener Tamim Iqbal's return to International cricket is likely to be delayed as he suffered a muscle strain on the right side of the rib.The injury also forced him to sit out from the second round of the National Cricket League (NCL) in which his side Chattogram Division is ...

Entertainment »

Bindu Kona’s Krishna Leela

Sheikh Arif Bulbon :Among the present generation’s singers, Bindu Kona has been entertaining the hearts of many music-lovers by virtue of her melodious voice and stage performances. It is said that when Bindu Kona gets microphone on her hand on the stage, she becomes a different ‘Bindu Kona.’ While performing ...

International »

HK lawmakers dragged from chamber as leader heckled for second day

AFP, Hong Kong :Pro-democracy lawmakers were dragged out of Hong Kong's legislature by security guards on Thursday after they heckled the city's pro-Beijing leader for a second day running, the latest outburst of political rancour in the strife-torn city.Chief Executive Carrie Lam has faced an outpouring of anger from her ...

International »

Diplomatic stalemate fuels dangerous Saudi-Iran standoff

AFP, Abu Dhabi :The dangerous rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran, played out in proxy wars and mystery strikes, is destined to fester as long as neither reaches across the gulf that divides them, observers say.At the Beirut Institute Summit in the United Arab Emirates this week, heated sessions dominated ...

City »

Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal brought out a silent procession on Dhaka University campus on Thursday demanding trial of killers of Abrar Fahad and release of BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia.

Editorial »

Stringent measures needed to bring onion prices at tolerable level

THOUGH the prices of onion decreased slightly in the last week following adequate supply in markets, consistent open market sale (OMS) and monitoring by the government, it's again showing upward trend due to syndicated activities of some unscrupulous traders. The business syndicates defying government's monitoring allegedly playing tricks to make ...

Football »

FIFA president 'disappointed' by empty stands at Koreas qualifier

AFP, Seoul :FIFA president Gianni Infantino said he was "disappointed" after attending a historic but bizarre World Cup qualifier between North and South Korea that had empty stands and no live broadcast.The rare match in the North Korean capital ended 0-0 on Tuesday, with Infantino one of the few people ...

International »

Debating Democrats blast Trump, demand his impeachment

AFP, Westerville :Democratic White House hopeful united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the ...

Entertainment »

Crown of ‘Miss Universe Bangladesh 2019’ unveiled

Entertainment Report :A franchise of Miss Universe, ‘Miss Universe Bangladesh 2019 was unveiled its prestigious crown (Tiara) on Tuesday with the presence of top 10 contests of the beauty pageant. The event was held at the Amisheé Fine Jewelry flagship store in the capital’s Gulshan area. Two judges of this ...

International »

Qatar rules out possibility of war between US and Iran

AFP, Doha :Qatar's defence minister ruled out Wednesday the possibility of a war between the United States and Iran amid rising tensions in the Gulf following attacks on oil tankers.Doha is an ally of Washington, but also has good relations with Tehran that has helped it overcome a political and ...

Editorial »

Anti-Corruption Commission must prove its success by conviction

The Anti-Corruption Commission has initiated an investigation against 43 people involved in illegal casino businesses. A senior ACC official told the reporters that they had obtained evidence against these 43 people to be involved as bigwigs in illegal casino operations, who included ruling party stalwarts and former and serving government ...

City »

Newly formed Convening Committee of Bangladesh Ainjibi Forum placing floral wreaths on the Mazar of Shaheed President Ziaur Rahman in the city on Tuesday. Convener of the committee Advocate Khondkar Mahbub Hossian was present, among others, on the occasion.

Football »

Ayhan equaliser forces France to wait for Euro 2020 spot

AFP, Paris :France drew 1-1 with Turkey in Euro 2020 qualifying on Monday in a match played against a backdrop of diplomatic and security tensions after Paris condemned Ankara for its military offensive against Kurdish forces in Syria.Substitute Olivier Giroud headed in from a corner to put France ahead on ...

Cricket »

ICC increases prize pot for Women's T20I World Cup by 320%

In a major boost to women's cricket, the ICC has decided to increase the prize money by 320% for the upcoming T20I World Cup which will be held in Australia.For the event in Australia next year the winners and runners up will now receive $1 million and $500,000 respectively; five ...

Items that you save may be read at any time on your computer, iPad, iPhone or Android devices.
Are you new to our website? Do you have already an account at our website?
Create An Account Log in here
Email this news to a friend or like someone
Write a comment to this news