Think of a reason to smile

The World of Education is ever changing, there are new challenges set towards anyone working in the education sector, on top of these challenges, we are also trying to do our best for the students, and there's going to be days where it all gets too much, where you find yourself with your head in your hands at the end of the day and wondering "why am I still doing this?"

You're not alone.

There's not a single teacher/teaching assistant/support worker etc. out there who hasn't been where you are. You remember that saying "never work with children or animals" - well in education you're doing exactly what you were warned against! Nobody is perfect, there's going to be days it gets on top of you, and don't worry, you're normal, there's nothing to be ashamed of.

You see, when working in the classroom, you're not just a teacher/teaching assistant, you're other jobs are; peacemaker, cleaner, nurse, friend, counsellor, referee, handyman, event planner, health and safety officer, photographer, police officer (seriously here, have you seen those playground scuffles?), detective (things always go missing!), dietician, party planner, trip planner, psychologist, artist, and so much more.

When you work with kids every day, they're not just your students anymore, they're part of your life. You're going to smile with them, cry with them and sometimes even get angry with them, because you are like the extra parent to them, you're leading them into their adult life, helping to mould them. 

And you know what? It's not easy.

One of the hardest things to do at the end of a bad day is try to get out of your slump. A lot of people say "go to the gym" - seriously, you've been on your feet all day, running around, teaching, cleaning, setting up, more than likely missing lunch - the gym is possibly not the top of your list, but you also don't want to go home and drown your sorrows in a mug of hot chocolate - or something liquid anyway!

What I've found helpful, is to list things that made me happy that day. There's always something that would have put a smile on your face that day, even if you don't realise it.

Picture this scene - it's a totally imagined up scene and has no resemblance to anything or anyone I have encountered, it's purely fictional.

Johnny come into class like a whirlwind, he threw his bag onto the floor, he's running around the classroom, throwing objects around, taking his coat off, screaming and refusing to respond to staff. The other students are starting to get stressed, getting louder, they can't hear you over all the noise. This means you're getting louder trying to talk to Johnny, the rest of the students are getting louder to hear themselves over the noise- we have a lose/lose situation. Lily - another student - comes over and gives Johnny an item he's been looking for. Johnny rushes over to his chair, screaming and laughing hysterically that he's got his toy back. 

Now - this scenario could be 2 minutes long or 20 minutes long. What's your reason to smile about the potentially stressful situation?

A child offered to help another child - without you.

You've help the students in your class become friends, respect each other and encourage them to help each other. Smile.

I promise there's always a reason to smile, you just have to find it. Get yourself a 'smile' book and write 5 things that made you smile at the end of everyday before you go to bed, or get yourself a smile jar, write something on a piece of paper everyday and put it into the jar, at the end of the year - or when you're having a really bad day - pull out the book or jar and read through all the things that make you happy.

Sometimes, we just need a gentle nudge to help us remember, that although there's a lot of things going on in the World that can make us sad - there's always going to be one more thing that will make us happy.


1 comment

  1. Thank you for this post! This was exactly what I needed to read today. Some times it gets to all of us.

    Love this blog :)


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