Much of the stress teachers feel today comes from sources outside of the classroom.
New curriculum, policies, and programs, tweaks and changes to this and that, and the near-constant call for flexibility—all zooming at you at an alarming rate—can feel like an ever-present dark cloud hanging over your head.
Here at Smart Classroom Management we believe that the best approach to anything beyond your immediate control is laid-back acceptance. We believe in listening and learning without judgment and leaving school at school.
We believe in shaking your arms out, howling at the morning moon, and having a lot more fun with your class.
1. Building rapport will become effortless.
Having a calm, confident demeanor comes naturally when you’re not feeling stressed. Humor and patience, too, come easy. And because students are drawn to such a leadership style, building rapport is something you don’t consciously have to work at.
2. Excitability will plummet.
Excitability among students is a major cause of misbehavior, but not among teachers who carry themselves with an all-is-well vibe. Your calmness alone will engender confidence in you and cause your students to settle down and focus on learning.
3. Your students will be happier.
To the extent your students enjoy being in your classroom is largely determined by your personality and temperament. When you’re able to shrug off outside pressures to smile and revel in the moment with your students, they’ll respond in kind.
4. Behavior will improve.
When students walk into a classroom that makes sense to them—one with a peaceful aura and clear boundaries of behavior and protection—they can’t help but be affected. They can’t help but feel they’re right where they belong. They can’t help but be inspired to give the best of themselves.
5. Learning will increase.
Stress inhibits concentration, participation, and performance. A classroom free of tension, on the other hand, is the perfect incubator for learning—with students naturally becoming more creative, more focused, and more comfortable sharing with their classmates.
6. Your words will have power.
When you’re internally calm, it will show most notably in the way you communicate with your students. A soft, unhurried tone, with pauses and open, accessible facial expressions and body language, will make your words more interesting and persuasive to your students.
7. You’ll experience far less day-to-day stress.
An honest reassessment of what is truly worthy of your mental energy will remove much of your work-related stress. You’ll find that most news and gossip is just that, offering no real reason to get uptight or spend a single minute of your day worrying about it.
8. You’ll be happier.
The simple elimination of needless stress will completely upend your workaday outlook. It will lighten your step, slacken your shoulders, and paint the sky a watercolor blue. It will make you more effective, more charismatic, and a lot more fun to be around.
9. You’ll respond calmly to misbehavior.
Free from the mental burden of what may or may not come to pass, you’ll find yourself with deeper reserves of composure and patience and an almost otherworldly ability to respond to misbehavior without anger or frustration.
10. You’ll be present for friends and family.
One of the consequences of stewing over anything you have little control over is that it will cause you to bring stress home with you. Focusing solely on your sphere of influence and responsibility (i.e. your classroom), on the other hand, will allow you to leave school at school.
Safeguarding Your Peace
Teacher stress seems to be getting worse every day, and it’s no wonder. Change keeps a-coming, faster and more furious than ever before.
But it doesn’t have to affect you emotionally; not without your permission anyway.
Being in the classroom is challenging enough without allowing events and decisions beyond your control to affect your peace and ability to manage and inspire your students. Let all the outside stuff inform you intellectually, but never emotionally.
Accept what you can’t change. Learn what you need to learn. And save your passion, your enthusiasm, and your energy for the classroom.
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