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5 Steps to Become More Resilient As a Teacher.

man writing on chalkboard

Pat yourself in the back.

You deserve it. The last 10 months have not been the best; there’s been lots of ups and downs in the world of education but you have made it this far, that’s worth some accolades. 

Many teachers have reported loss of motivation to teach as a result of the distance and separation that the pandemic has caused. Teachers are no longer able to connect with the students like they normally would, and this has led to a drop in motivation.

Like you know, virtual classes are definitely not the most interesting. There is less activity and learning is very passive, compared to the physical classes. This makes both the teachers and students less engaged and bored. 

So, give yourself some accolades and let’s move on.

Developing Resilience During Crisis

Life is full of challenges. It may be a roadblock, a tremendous obstacle, an experience that hit you hard and shook every bit of energy out of you, a difficult project, a family crisis, a personal breaking point, or a career crossroad.

The coronavirus pandemic is another life challenge that we have to go through. It has had a lot of effects (both physically and emotionally); therefore, teachers need to learn how to cope with these effects.

Coping with challenges requires one key characteristic: RESILIENCE.

What is resilience

Resilience is the ability to go through life with hope and humour, despite facing devastating losses that would have otherwise crippled you.

Resilience is standing firm when, and after, everything around you has fallen. 

It is the ability to retain yourself as a strong and unbreakable force when a challenge or adversity hits. 

We all go through challenges, but we don’t all respond to these challenges the same way. While many see challenges as a permanent setback, some see challenges as a means of upliftment.

The 5 Steps

  1. Transform your perception of challenges: Adversities come at different points in your career as a teacher. Most times, it is the perception that you have about these challenges that will determine how much they will affect you. When you see challenges as means of bringing you down, you will lose the ability to think through and control the outcomes. In contrast, when you see challenges as a means of career or personal upliftment, you develop the ability to devise solutions to the problem. To help you through your career as a teacher, you must develop a growth mindset (seeing possibility in adversity).

 What does not kill one, makes one stronger.

African Proverb

  1. Be proactive: Do not wait for things to happen before you act. Plan ahead, prepare yourself for whatever challenge that may arise in the future. This preparation includes learning new ways of teaching, upskilling, and exploring future technologies. The proactive teacher plans for the future.

Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.

Malcom X
  1. Celebrate the process: Rewards should not only be given when you achieve a goal, the process of attaining the goal should be equally celebrated. The challenges of online learning have made it increasingly hard for teachers to achieve set goals. Unavailability of power supply makes it hard to send daily class assignments to students; frequent network issues make you spend more time in classes without achieving as much as you normally would. Hurdles like this make one miss daily targets and even feel exhausted and less resilient. But by rewarding your daily actions and achievements, you can motivate yourself towards the larger goal. Did you finish a unit of the syllabus? Reward that. Were you able to make your students listen? Reward that too.

Most times, fulfilment comes from the accumulation of small daily wins

  1. Understand that challenges are only temporary: No challenge will last forever. When you truly understand this concept, your perception about challenges changes. Challenges and disruptions (like this pandemic) come and go at various points in life and so, they should not make you quit.

Tough times don’t last, tough people do

Robert Schuller

  1. Practice gratitude: Regardless of how tough the situation is, you can always find things to be grateful for. It is very hard to spot positive things in ones life when things are hard. The challenge or adversity makes you believe that there is nothing more to be grateful for; but if you search more deeply, you would find that there are countless bounties to give thanks for.

Don’t grieve over the hundred problems in your life, be grateful for the thousand mercies.

Keep going. Remember, the future lies in your hands.

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