Tips for SEN Teachers on Staying Positive.
Updated July 2023. This post collates our Top Tips for staying positive, given the current state of the education system Post-Covid these ideas are needed more than ever.
Maintaining a Positive Attitude as an SEN Teacher
If you work in Special Education (or Education as it should be called) then you will know the importance of maintaining a positive attitude. You will be faced with a multitude of challenges daily. Some you will have strategies for, and some no matter how long you have taught will take you by surprise.
Some of these tips relate to your mental health, and physical health and others are coping strategies. I like the point Glenys makes about the importance of supervision, particularly when you know you are listened to and supported.
Top Tips for Teachers on Staying Positive
10 Tips for Staying Positive as a Teacher
Being a teacher can be stressful and draining at times. It’s important to maintain a healthy outlook to combat burnout and continue making a difference for students. Here are 10 tips for staying positive as a teacher:
- Set boundaries. Don’t take work home with you. Leave lesson planning at school and focus on self-care after hours.
- Celebrate little wins. Notice and applaud small achievements by your students and yourself each day.
- Connect with colleagues. Venting problems is okay sometimes, but focus conversations on teamwork, humour and encouragement too.
- Find purpose. Remind yourself why you went into teaching – your impact on students and helping shape the future.
- Breathe. Take short breaks to relax when you start feeling overwhelmed. Deep breathing is grounding.
- Exercise. Physical activity boosts mental well-being. Even a 20-minute walk at lunch can refresh your mind.
- Practice gratitude. Write down things you’re thankful for each week, big or small, to shift perspective.
- Nurture hobbies. Carve time for activities you find fun and meaningful outside the classroom.
- Challenge negative thoughts. Question thoughts like “I can’t do this” and replace with encouraging affirmations.
- Celebrate your fellow teachers. Give praise and appreciation to colleagues to spread positivity.
Matt makes a good point, sometimes education and the pressures of school life can seem overwhelming. There will be times when external pressures, environmental factors, unexpected political changes, and Artificial intelligence (A.I) all threaten your carefully laid plans. Identify those you can control. Hopefully, you will have a leadership team that is prepared to listen and rationalise demands. If you work in a school where teaching staff don’t have this influence @thatboycanteach has a great blog on taking the power back.
Exercise was a popular suggestion. Not my favourite pastime but I do enjoy walking to work when I get a chance. Great opportunity for reflection and one of my #teacher5aday pledges.
When you work with children who see and process the world differently you will encounter behaviour that challenges you. However, as @Scatti1 points out you shouldn’t ever take it personally. I cannot think of any time when this has been meant personally. It is usually purely a manifestation of frustration caused by miscommunication. So take a step back, deep breath and move forward.
These final three ideas are great. How about a memory jar or secret success diary to remember those times you had a positive impact. These don’t have to be huge things. Every teacher must be able to conjure up a memory of a time you cheered someone up, you helped a student through a difficult time, when you made a difference.
Thanks for reading our Ideas for Staying Positive please add your ideas in the comments section.