The start of school is coming, and people are gearing up for a great year. The staff is posting pictures on social media of their decorated classrooms and ensuring everyone knows about “Meet the Teacher” night. The anticipation of the new school year is something even the most seasoned veteran relishes. Unfortunately, the research is clear that this enthusiasm declines.
Is it possible to match the intensity of the first day of school daily? I would venture to say it is no, however, there must be some maintenance of enthusiasm throughout the school year to keep answering the alarm each day.
October is historically a month in which the energy level diminishes for teachers. It is a long time between holidays, and the content gets more difficult for students. Familiarity breeds misbehavior for many, and the simple emotional drain of teaching school eats on the soul. Let’s face it – teaching school is incredibly difficult.
We can all agree that approaching the work with a relentless zeal each day is the best way to do the work, but summoning that energy can be a chore.
What can leaders do?
- Highlight October 1st on the calendar. Find something to celebrate loudly.
- Set goals around teacher attendance by month and reward the whole staff when the goal is achieved.
- Get in the classroom and teach with them like your hair is on fire.
- Take a class for a teacher so they can plan.
- Get local musicians to play after school while the staff enjoys a catered meal.
Ultimately maintaining the enthusiasm is a personal choice. There is a moral imperative that comes with this gig that demands a simple choice to bring joy to the work. We can become very guilty of not celebrating the simple success of student growth and dwelling on the negative aspects of the work like student discipline. Make it a goal to find someone to celebrate with every day.
Ty Duncan – MindPlay Business Development