Hello beautiful, smart, intelligent and wonderful teacher friend. I hope this episode finds you well. I can’t lie. I’m pretty nervous and really excited about this one, mostly because I have a big announcement at the end. And I hate it when people save things until the end. But truly, that is the best place for me to make this announcement, because first I want you to hear the content of today’s episode and my joyful teacher secrets.
Today’s episode is prompted by the constant questions and comments that I get. “How are you so happy? How are you so joyful? There must be some sort of secret.” A few co-workers of mine were talking, “Wow, you’re always so happy at school. How are you always so happy? How are you always so joyful?”
So that prompted today’s episode, because I know if you’re like me, October was completely exhausting. It basically almost killed us. Lots of candy, lots of excitement, lots of activities, Red Ribbon Week, all of those things are behind us.
And the truth is we’re tired. We’re a little bit fed up of all that. And we’re all bracing ourselves for the holiday horror film of activities, gifts, and parties that are just ahead. It is so easy to look ahead and start counting down the days until Thanksgiving break and Christmas break, feeling dread, feeling anxious, stressed, even maybe a little depressed.
Don’t Lose the Time We Have Right Now
Well, Teacher, I’m not saying that I’m not looking forward to holiday breaks. But let’s not count away the experiences and the life that are in the days ahead. Once that time has gone, we can’t get it back. And we ourselves, the teachers, aren’t the only parts of this equation. There are those sweet little eager, loving faces looking at us, looking to us, in everything that we do.
So today teacher, if these thoughts resonated with you, I want to coach you through them. That’s what I’m doing each week. I want to be your cheerleader, your go to for hard times, and your accountability partner in this calling, this deep and meaningful responsibility that we call primary teaching.
So if you are just in survival mode until your next break, this should leave you feeling re-energized, focused, and ready to do this teaching thing the right way. And if you’re perfectly centered and not yet in survival mode, this will reaffirm your feelings and to keep on keepin’ on. Basically, I want you to leave this episode feeling grateful to be a teacher. So, here it is: my untold secrets for being a joyful teacher even in hard times.
Joyful Teacher Secrets #1: I’m Not Always Joyful
Secret number one: I’m not always so joyful. And that is perfectly okay. There are no wrong feelings. Our feelings happen to us, most of the time against our own will. We cannot will our feelings into place. They are just there. They need to be acknowledged and accepted. And then sometimes they need to be replaced.
It was two weeks ago when I was feeling completely defeated as a teacher. I was physically exhausted. I was also not feeling well. And I was stressed with too many things to do. Boy was I short on joy that whole week. I was on the verge of a complete meltdown. And I knew it my husband kind of sensed it. Even my kids here at home noticed that mommy just was not in the best mood.
But it only took a single phone call to relieve me of all of that. Who was it? It was my sweet little Mamaw Mina Mae. I’ve talked about her before. But what you should know about her is that she’s 88 years old, and she’s completely blind. And in her time, she has faced so many obstacles. I could not name them all here without crying.
A Little Perspective
It only took this one conversation to ground me and bring me back to a state of joyfulness. I was exhausted. We’d done all these things at school, and my Mamaw asked, “So how has your week been? What have you been doing?” And I go on in dread, talking about this, talking about that, we’ve done this. “Oh, Mamaw, it’s been such a hard week.”
And you know what she said to me? She said, “Wow, I can’t believe that you get to do all of those things.”
Now she did not say, “You have to do all of those things.” She said, “You get to do them.” You see, my Mamaw raised all these children on our own, because my grandpa died at in his 30s of a brain aneurysm. In that same year, she lost her vision because of a hereditary disease. And she was left with this job of raising her children on her own.
Here she is in her 80’s, looking at my life, looking at the things that I’ve done, and she has just pure amazement that I get to do them. In that moment, when I was losing touch with all the blessings that I have, she grounded me.
Joyful Teacher Secrets #2: Find a Way to Be Grateful
So untold secret number two is that I always find a way to be grateful. Gratitude is the most amazing emotion. Gratitude is powerful. Do you know it’s impossible to feel gratitude and anxious at the same time? Anxiety and stress cannot live where gratitude lives.
So sometimes we need someone to ground us, but sometimes we can just give it to ourselves. Sometimes we have to coach ourselves into letting these feelings go to replace them with more productive, more empowering feelings. Find something to be grateful for to replace those feelings that are dragging you down. That answer could be found in your Mamaw, it could be found in a blog that you read, a podcast that you listen to, (hint, hint 😉) but sometimes we may need even more than that.
Joyful Teacher Secrets #3: I Have a Coach
This is my untold secret number three. I have a coach. Yes, I have a coach who helps me and guides me through my thoughts and feelings. Shout out to sweet Janet, she is an incredible coach. She is always there when I need her, and she helps me come to my own conclusions about what is right for my life, my feelings, and I could not thank her enough for what she does.
What I’m implying here to you is that some of us need a coach. We need accountability and positive influence. We need someone rooting us on and making sure that we are following the path that will lead us to the goals, dreams, and the aspirations that we want.
So if you have consistently struggled in the area of teaching specifically, if you have gone into your job day after day, week after week, feeling dread, wishing you had a different dynamic by which you lived but also remembering that this is what you dreamed of at one point. More than likely that is still in there, but maybe you’ve lost touch with it. Maybe other circumstances in your life have overpowered that for you. Maybe it’s time for a coach.
Joyful Teacher Secrets #4: Let Me Be Your Coach
Like I said in the beginning, I coach you here every week. And I pray that this is so useful to you that you cannot wait to see that Thursday update that I’ve uploaded a new episode. And maybe this is enough, maybe this is just what you need.
But some of you may need the next level. I did. I would argue that everyone needs a coach, everyone needs some support in certain areas of their life. So this leads me to secret number four, the big announcement. I am now taking on private coaching clients. I am now segmenting hours in my week in which I will serve teachers through private coaching.
My dream is helping dedicated teachers who are looking to discover new found joy and passion in their career so that they can continue in their journey and have a deeper, more profound impact on the students and families they serve. I want to be your coach and help you in finding joy in teaching and showing up for your students happy. I want to help you find those thoughts and feelings that are not serving you and replace them in a way that is profound, meaningful, and takes away the dread, anxiety, and depression.
Give Coaching a Try
You could always leave teaching. There’s more out there in the world, but deep in your heart, I know you love to teach. I know you love to be the caregiver, the teacher who is impacting these little people who just stare at you with complete adoration. I know it because I feel it too. And I want to help you grow as a teacher. I want to help you move forward to do new things to reach goals that you did not even feel were possible. And I know that private coaching is the answer for some of you.
So, I want to offer a free 30 minute coaching session for you. This is a no obligation opportunity to see if this may be the missing link in your teacher path. Just send me an email to toni @ teachertoni.com (remove the spaces) and say Toni, I would love to try your free 30 minute coaching session. That’s all it takes. Of course, you know, I don’t have unlimited space. So if you’re on the fence, send me an email. I want to get your name down. I want to meet with you for 30 minutes to talk about your feelings, your thoughts, your aspirations, your dreams. That’s all it is. And we’ll see if coaching is right for you.
The bottom line is we have to keep on doing what we’re doing. The world needs us. Our children, our students, our future need us to be joyful and excited and passionate about what we’re doing. So keep on keeping on, sweet teacher friend. Thanksgiving break is just around the corner. But remember to enjoy the time that you have. We can never ever get it back.
And you know I cannot end without saying it. Until we meet again, go make a difference, Teacher Friend.