Gratitude journalling for teachers is something I think all educators ought at least try out, because gratitude journalling is pretty amazing. Teachers are very hard on themselves. Working in stressful conditions, wanting to help students learn, to support students who struggle with socializing with their peers, who have learning disabilities, it’s all consuming profession that bleeds into teachers’ personal time and lives. And sometimes, teachers take on too much emotionally and end up feeling inadequate, guilty and as though they are failing in their vocation.
Trust me, we are not failing. Even if it fails that way more often than not. You are not failing.
This is why I want to talk about the importance of gratitude journalling for teachers. There are plenty of gratitude journals out there, asking you to pause and reflect on things you are grateful for and this can be extremely beneficial. However, I am going to take this one step further for teachers and suggest ways to express gratitude that are specific to the profession and these professionals.
Why are You Grateful to be a Teacher?
Have you ever considered this question? Many people shrug off teachers as glorified baby sitters and have plenty of crictism for teachers. Teachers are highly aware of this, and we know that teaching is largely a thankless profession. However, even if others aren’t always grateful for us teachers, why are we grateful to be teachers? This job is very rewarding, even though it is exhausting and super stressful. So ask yourself, why am I grateful to be a teacher? Record your answers, or perhaps have a discussion with close colleagues about this topic. Recording your thoughts and expressing your gratitude in a journal can be uplifting, empowering and go a long way towards reducing stress.
Related Post: Why Teachers Need and Deserve Mental Health Days
What Do you Love About Teaching?
We work so hard, but why? What is it about teaching that pushes us to work so hard? This is a job frequently described as a vocation, a calling, so teaching can be understood to be a labour of love much like parenthood. So what is it that you love about teaching? I know you don’t think about this much. I certainly don’t, but I think it’s time we start considering these questions, especially as we move forward in 2021 teaching online and continuing to twist our teaching methods and brains to offer the best teaching practices we can during the pandemic. Gratitude journalling for teachers is something that can give us pause and help educators remember the good instead of focusing on all the challenges–which are many.
The Horrible, No Good Bad Day
In teaching, these days are guarteened to happen. Likely with more frequency than you’d expect. I remember trying to teach a math lesson once, and the phone must have rung at least five or six times in the first five minutes of the lesson. I wasn’t even that prepared for that particular lesson because it was one I was struggling with the best way to unfold and unpack the ideas. By the time the phone had rung six times I wanted to throw in the towel and tell the kids that math was cancelled for the day.
And this is only a small example of how a day can go wrong. It go so much more wrong and be so much more messy. And you walk away from the day feeling discouraged, shell shocked and just awful. You got no teaching done! Or worse, you put together an amazing lesson only to discover that the kids were no where near as ready as you thought they were for the concepts, and the lesson fell apart entirely. These days get to teachers. I have the idea however, that however much went wrong (and I know how much can go wrong) there were things that went right. So look for those positives! Look for the moments were a child demonstrated gain in their learning, or moments were your class laughed together.
Freebies for You
If you are a teacher, and some of this has resonated with you, has got you itching to change the way you practice self care, then I have some resources for you in my freebie library. Signing up is totally free, and you will have access to free printables for all of the ideas above. Plus a few more! You’ll also have access to other self care resources, such as inspirational posters, and more resources will be added periodically.
Why Gratitude Journalling?
It’s so easy to get caught up in all the negative things in our lives. So it’s always a good idea to sit down and reflect on the things you are grateful for. And I thought this form of journalling, and self care would translate well to teaching because it is a stressful job where there are many challenges presented by administration, students, parents, even other colleagues that it’s easy to get caught up in frustrations. And become discouraged, or even discontented with the work we do. Stepping back from that to think about the positive aspects of teaching and expressing gratitude is a good way to remember why you chose this profession, and to help you de-stress as well as motivate you for the next day.
Teachers, share your thoughts in the comments below. And be sure to subscribe to the newsletter to get your hands on those freebies–I doubt you’ll find others like them on the web.