How To Love Being A Teacher

Smart Classroom Management: How To Love Being A TeacherTeaching is getting harder every year.

There is no doubt about it.

I’ve heard from thousands of teachers since I began this blog seven years ago.

I also speak to teachers from around the world as part of my coaching practice.

And I still teach in a public school to this day.

More is being asked of us now than at any time in my 25 years of teaching.

Stress is at an all-time high.

Students appear more challenging and less motivated. Misbehavior is on the rise.

The joy of teaching is as elusive as a restful vacation.

And yet, there is a small band of teachers who have figured out how to fight back.

They’ve figured out how to rid themselves of all the pressure and frustration and have more fun teaching than they ever thought possible.

They’ve figured out how to cut their planning time in half, rid their classrooms of misbehavior, and motivate their students to want to learn.

They’ve figured out how to love being a teacher. (And not just try to convince themselves they do.)

For the past nine months, I’ve been immersed in writing a book about how anyone can create a teaching experience they truly enjoy.

The book is a culmination of my career-long quest for the single most effective and fulfilling teaching approach in existence—and not just in the classroom, but from the moment you arrive on campus until you leave for the day.

It’s based on my own practice, as well as the experience of the many teachers I’ve coached and mentored over the years.

I’ve also drawn on the latest research into learning, happiness, motivation, performance, and productivity, as well as lessons from experts in the worlds of music, sports, business, fashion, medicine, and even comedy.

I’ve taken the traits, qualities, and practices of the happiest and most effective teachers on Earth and condensed them into 11 habits any teacher can apply and experience dramatic results.

The 11 habits are doable for anyone and are meant to simplify and de-stress your teaching life. The goal of the book is no less than for you to love your job.

The book is called The Happy Teacher Habits, and it represents what I believe to be the secret to successful teaching in the 21st century—regardless of grade level, subject matter, or school you work in.

I’ve never worked as hard on a project.

I tried to write in a way that didn’t waste a moment of your time, but that delivered the 11 habits in an accessible and entertaining way.

It was important to me not just to tell you that a particular method or strategy is effective, but show you exactly why it’s effective and how you can apply it in your own classroom.

Hopefully, you’ll find the supporting stories, anecdotes, and research studies interesting as well.

My goal is that what you’ll learn will bring as much joy and satisfaction to you as it has for me and the many teachers I’ve shared the habits with.

The book will be available this Tuesday, May 3rd at Amazon.com in both paperback and Kindle editions.

I hope you’ll check it out.

PS – I apologize for not writing about a classroom management strategy this week. It won’t happen again, at least not until the next book.

Thanks for understanding.

-Michael

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55 Responses to How To Love Being A Teacher

  1. Emily April 30, 2016 at 8:16 am #

    I was just made team lead for next year and look forward to your book’s help.

    • Carmelita Cabarrubias April 30, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

      I really love teaching and proof is my more than 40 years service in teaching. As a teacher, you must know how to deal with their problems especially in areas with different cultures.You will be happy to see them successful professionals in the future years. Of course sacrifice, determination to help them and tender loving care must be shown to them

  2. Betsy Russell April 30, 2016 at 8:23 am #

    I guess I need to read this book. I’m making the decision as to whether I want to continue teaching or get out of the profession. I am burned out. I’m in my ninth year of teaching and work all the time. I cannot find a balance. I am open to any and all suggestions.
    Thank you,
    Betsy

    • Kristen April 30, 2016 at 9:48 am #

      Three years in and I am having the same conversation with myself as you are….frankly, reading your post gives me pause. The teachers that are further along than I am seem so unhappy and exhausted. I had a successful sales career before this and I am starting to feel like a fool for staying with this. My family and friends are urging me to move on because I “don’t seem happy.” Ugh.

      • Michael Linsin April 30, 2016 at 9:53 am #

        Hi Betsy and Kristen,

        There is hope. This is what the book is about. I truly believe it can change your perspective and perhaps save your career.

        Michael

      • Gayle Culver May 1, 2016 at 8:31 am #

        Betsy what grade do you teach?

    • Mohammed May 4, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

      Hi Betsy@
      How are you? Sorry to hear about your sadness and frustration. I’m a teacher too and I’ve been on this mission for 14 years. I can help you if you want. I am a happy teacher.

  3. Alicia April 30, 2016 at 9:32 am #

    Awesome!! I’ve thought ever since I started reading your articles that I wish you’d write it all in a book!!

  4. Jh April 30, 2016 at 10:31 am #

    I seriously cannot wait until Tuesday!!!!!

  5. Peggy Vicknair April 30, 2016 at 10:31 am #

    He has one on classroom management. I have it but not yet found time to read it. Now another book. Can’t wait to read it too, hopefully soon. Just a couple of pages at a time just to get started.

  6. Kamal April 30, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    I really love teaching and I treat students as though I need to teach my love for them to succeed and that is the challenge I need to overcome.

  7. Mo April 30, 2016 at 10:45 am #

    Hi . Im from Spain . 6 years teaching and got 2 depressions and Im exhausted. Im also thinking to quit the job . Misbehaviour children is exhausting. Im also thinking to work in an academy with adults ir less children.

  8. Shana April 30, 2016 at 10:56 am #

    Can’t wait to get this book!

  9. K Roberts April 30, 2016 at 11:07 am #

    I have loved your books which have truly helped with all aspects of my practice. Sadly (in some ways), three years in – I have decided that I am leaving the profession, I enjoy the moments of teaching and being with a class that wants to learn. However, ever increasing class sizes, constant observations, and unfriendly SLT are making the job unenjoyable for me, I don’t want to try to change it or moan about it so I am out. I had a profession which paid a huge amount more, could offer longer holidays as a contractor and daily conditions were far more favourable, I thought I wanted to be a teacher and I did, I thought I would enjoy it and I did – at least the parts of it that made it ‘the job’. The unnecessary pressures have made it unenjoyable, and I wonder why teachers would remain in these circumstances, or perhaps this is indeed the reason why schools are unable to retain staff these days…..

    • Annie May 1, 2016 at 9:28 am #

      I truly commend you for knowing who you are and what you are willing (and not willing) to accept. I am 15 years into my vocation, and have witnessed a lot of frustrating changes to the profession and to our working conditions. (I teach French full-time and am not even permitted my own classroom.) I’m hoping Michael’s new book will give me the emotional boost I’ve been seeking. All the best to you!

  10. Allison Weiss April 30, 2016 at 11:07 am #

    I’m a huge fan! Couldn’t wait for the book–and glad I didn’t try. Kindle version available now, and I’m already reading.

    Thanks so much for your commitment to sharing effective ideas that make us stronger, happier teachers, which in turn help us shape stronger, happier students.

    Best,
    Allison

    • Michael Linsin April 30, 2016 at 4:36 pm #

      Hi Allison,

      That’s great! Yes, I did hear that as Amazon builds the sales page over the next couple days, the book may come available to those willing to search for it.

      Michael

  11. Frank Lee April 30, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Just downloaded it on Kindle. $6.99? That’s a no-brainer.

  12. Pete April 30, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    I am a music teacher that sees the kids 30 minutes at a time 2 times a week. I need help with how to deal with bad behaviors within a 30 minute period. Since they come to class every other day, the strategy I’ve begun on one day is long forgotten. Honestly, a few of the children, sad to say, our school does not have the resources or are equipped to work with them. However, I still am expected to include them. Examples of behaviors; rolling around on the floor, running around the room, standing near the door and threatening to leave the room, picking up various objects and throwing them on the floor. All this from an 8 year old. I look forward to reading your articles and gleaming ideas and strategies.

    • Michael Linsin April 30, 2016 at 2:14 pm #

      Hi Pete,

      I wrote a book for teachers like you who only see their students once or twice a week. It’s called Classroom Management for Art, Music, and PE Teachers. Read can read more about it by clicking on the image along the right sidebar.

      Michael

      • Dawn May 2, 2016 at 6:33 am #

        I am a k-6 music teacher and I see my classes once a week and I love your book! It is invaluable to me in my classroom management policies. Thank you for thinking of the “specials” environment.

        • Michael Linsin May 2, 2016 at 6:45 am #

          It’s my pleasure, Dawn. I’m glad you like the book.

          Michael

  13. Ammie April 30, 2016 at 1:51 pm #

    In thinking back on my career my lowest times have actually been because of administrative decisions and how poorly I was treated. I am tired of being like a child and instead of having a conversation, it tends to lead to something more punitive. There is enough stress that goes on that when you don’t have the support of your principal but rather feel targeted and bullied, that’s when you want to pack it up. However, I am close to retirement so I am hanging in there, but it has been a rough couple of years. She treats the teachers that she hired so different than the ones that she inherited. I’ve tried to communicate and be on her team, but when I never know when the shoe is going to drop, I have to withdraw and guard myself and stay away unless I have to speak with her. That is so not me, but I am tired of being burned because I have a principal who does not know how to problem solve, but just goes for the juggluar.

    • Pete May 2, 2016 at 11:39 am #

      Thanks, I’ll give it a try. And Ammie, have you been reading my mail?

  14. Rebecca Freestone April 30, 2016 at 3:37 pm #

    I have been teaching 11 years and question whether I can continue in a profession I am so passionate about. So much has changed in that short time. It is the behavior of students and lack of responsibility on the part of parents that is burning me out. I get best practices in classroom management and treating students with dignity. However, things have changed. In the past two years I have been scratched, hit, and flipped off by my students. And I teach first grade!

  15. Frances April 30, 2016 at 4:12 pm #

    Hi Michael,
    Just had a really good week after reading Smart Classroom Mgmt for Art, PE and Music Teachers. Settling classes down outside the art room; waiting, waiting, waiting for attention and just slowing everything down. Love it! Just have to keep on keeping on now!
    Reading the responses from other teachers about unfriendly admin – I think is a global happening as schools become more like corporations. Even more tragic in ed settings which purport to espouse a Christian ethos. Our principal does not engage with most staff or students. He is like a gas leak- we don’t see or hear him, but is slowly killing us!
    As much as I adore my art job, I predict I will be axed because I too was ‘inherited’. Am undertaking a teacher aid course currently as art teaching jobs are like hens’ teeth and teaching art is all I want to do.

  16. Christine April 30, 2016 at 4:29 pm #

    I can’t wait to read the new book!

  17. Peter April 30, 2016 at 4:58 pm #

    Hi everyone, Michael’s new book is actually already available on Amazon right now. You don’t need to wait until Tuesday. I just downloaded my Kindle copy. Enjoy and thanks Michael for this book and all your posts over the years.
    Pete

  18. Audra April 30, 2016 at 6:48 pm #

    Will it be available anywhere in Australia?

    Oh, and sad to read so many of the above comments. My sympathy/empathy to all struggling. It is awful when you love what the job is supposed to be, but feel you cannot continue because of all the other stuff. I am 7 years in and still trying to find the balance. I have decided that there is just too much work for an average 40 hour week and that it is just how the job is. I have focussed on what is important (too much curricullum content to teach everything well), said “no” to extra activities (sometimes means organising class speakers and excursions are not done as the paperwork is arghhhh), made tasks easier to mark (still working on how to make them remain interesting too) and accepted that I can not be all I want as a teacher without sacrificing too much of my self and my family. So my motto for this year is now -“no one is going to die!” (last year it was you can only do what you can do in the time that you are prepared to give!) I am moving towards accepting the job as it is and getting the most out of my self and my students with these restrictions. It is not easy. Luckily I have a supportive Admin and collegues. Note; I am maybe not always doing so well – it is Sunday 9am and I am in class!!!

    • Michael Linsin April 30, 2016 at 7:37 pm #

      Hi Audra,

      It will definitely be available for Kindle via Amazon Australia.

      Michael

  19. Shelly April 30, 2016 at 7:26 pm #

    I want to encourage all of the teachers that have posted comments. I have been teaching for 21 years. I have taught all grade levels from first grade to senior high (it’s a long story!) I definitely have had my down times and have thought about quitting the profession many, many times. I have been told “I hate you”, had a water bottle thrown at me, had students walk out of my classroom, turn over desks, etc., etc. I have survived 11 principals and 8 superintendents; each one with their own agenda and plan for success. It has been quite the journey. Even with all of that, I am so glad I have stuck it out. Every day I see students who say “Hey, Mrs. Asher” or “Guess what? I got that grade up.” I have students who come back to see me after they graduate to visit or show off their new baby! It is amazing how that makes you feel. Or when you are in the Wal-Mart parking lot and you hear someone yell your name and when you look over one of your kids is waving like a maniac because they are seeing you outside of school. I know teaching is hard and seems to be one of the less respected professions, but honestly, did we take on this profession because it was easy. I know I didn’t. I did it because I was called to teach. I did it because I can make a difference in the life of another human being. For eight hours, I can keep a kid safe and make them feel welcome and give them a place to belong in my classroom. Please, if you were called to teach, think twice about leaving the profession completely. We need teachers who care about every student, even the ones that are hard to love. Read books, like the one in this blog, that will encourage you. Find a positive teacher to talk to. Retired teachers are great ones to get ideas from. Think of your most difficult problem and research it. You will find many ideas from other teachers who struggled with the same thing and came up with a way to handle it. Teaching will be an ever changing profession because we are living in an ever changing world. I sincerely pray you will stay and find the joy and love of your profession again.

    • rebecca May 1, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

      Thanks, that was touching and encouraging to hear. Just starting out, really, but hope i can stick with it long enough to make a difference in children’s lives.

      • Jan May 1, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

        You make a difference every day; you just don’t realize it. Kids will never tell you that you’ve influenced them, but unbeknownst to you, they may see your smiling face, they may hear a positive you’ve given them, or they may benefit simply from the fact that you are there every day. So many students have home situations that are anxiety-producing, chaotic, or just plain unstructured. Your reassuring presence is sometimes all that they need to feel a difference in their lives.

  20. Greg April 30, 2016 at 9:09 pm #

    Reading some of these comments is testament to just how important classroom management is to our profession; like hand-eye coordination to a batter in baseball or dribbling skills to a basketball player or aerobic breathing to a runner. This blog along, along with his books, are an incredible service to teachers.

    If we them put into practice.

    If we are committed to using the advice.

    I will adding to Michael’s new book to my collection “The Happy Teacher Habits.”

  21. Jeannine April 30, 2016 at 9:52 pm #

    Thank you Shelly. I am a 21 year teacher working on my doctorate who can echo everything that has been said by you and by those opting out. It is hard and wonderful at the same time. For me there is enough of the wonderful to outweigh the hard, but some days its close. Looking forward to the book as I get much-needed inspiration from the blog- the only one I subscribe to. Thanks.

  22. Gary May 1, 2016 at 3:30 am #

    Love your work Michael, a pick me up before a new term begins.

    • Michael Linsin May 1, 2016 at 7:42 am #

      Thanks Gary!

      Michael

  23. Laurie May 1, 2016 at 8:19 am #

    To Shelly: Well said and I applaud your positive mindset!

    I found Michael’s book this past summer. I have found classroom management challenging because I was the big “marshmallow” and always gave too many chances to do it right. I was the teacher that had rewards for everything! I was exhausted and broke (from the prizes in the prize box). Motivation was based on “What do I get if I do this?” attitudes. I knew in heart of hearts that this wasn’t right. I needed researched based knowledge of what it could be. I found people talking about Michael’s book on proteacher.com and decided to take a look at it. It honestly was exactly what I was thinking should happen but really not believing that it could actually work. I was VERY skeptical. I tried it in my classroom this year and I cannot believe the difference it made. I am still a work in progress but I know for a fact that this is the way to do it. Now I am looking forward to next year and many years to come because I have all the tools in my toolbox to handle kids with a pause and a whisper, humor and consistency. My students do not want to leave my classroom. They want me to go to the next grade with them! Thank you Michael for putting common sense into a book! I was asked by my administration to offer professional development on this system in the fall! I am really looking forward to it! (The most challenging students LOVE this system.) Go figure.

  24. Kim May 1, 2016 at 8:26 am #

    I’ve been looking forward to this book all year. I’ll be one of the first to order!

  25. Jane Norman May 2, 2016 at 1:10 am #

    I love what Shelly wrote – that is so why I am still in teaching 30 years later. I love the kids. I love the hugs and “Guess what i’ve been doing!” I love their youth and spontaneity and the yells across the playground and in the car park! I love the little remarks – “Your that teacher who loves kids!” It is all about the 40 hours a week that we can give them a safe place where know they are valued for just being themselves. If they are happy and safe then they can learn.

    What I hate are the staff meetings and the ten new things I have to do, especially the 7 new things I don’t know how to do and all before tomorrow! and the hours at night I don’t have to figure out how to do them . . . and its all for administrators who will never put a face to the data. None of it is for the betterment of the students. It seems, it is just to keep paper shufflers in a job. It takes teaching time away from the children. That is what wears us out, adds to the stress and takes the joy out of teaching. I fight with myself about how much longer I can stay in teaching.

  26. JL May 2, 2016 at 4:56 am #

    I love teaching, I really do. I genuinely enjoy all the thinking and planning, the time in the classroom… and yet, I feel so overwhelmed that after just a few years I think I need to stop teaching or I’ll have some kind of breakdown… is this what the book can help to fix?

    • Michael Linsin May 2, 2016 at 6:45 am #

      Hi JL,

      Yes, this is the aim of the book.

      Michael

  27. Amy May 2, 2016 at 7:47 am #

    Hello Michael, I was wondering if you had considered making any videos? I know it might be difficult to do with real students but even if you had adults acting as students it would be interesting and illuminating to see you in action!

    • Michael Linsin May 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Hi Amy,

      No, I have not. Logistically it would be pretty tough. Thanks for the suggestion.

      Michael

  28. Laura May 2, 2016 at 9:06 am #

    Just bought it! I can’t wait to read it!

  29. Cameron May 2, 2016 at 9:33 am #

    Please consider in the future writing an article on what a teacher should do involving monitoring an entire grade level (say 100 students) in a cafeteria during lunch. Oftentimes we’re required to monitor students during lunch. The cafeteria at our school (As I imagine a lot of other schools) gets quite out of hand, so oftentimes the consequence from above is silent lunch for everyone. This leaves the teacher to monitor 100 students (with the aide of actual monitors). However, there’s no real consequence if they do talk . . . . . . so they talk during silent lunch. I only monitor 1 day a week, so the consistency is very lacking.

    • Michael Linsin May 2, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Will do, Cameron.

      Michael

  30. Lelia Young May 2, 2016 at 11:38 am #

    I will definitely be purchasing this book. I find myself so unhappy with my job these days. I know that my attitude is part of the problem, but the challenges that I have faced this year really have me down. I want to leave, but I can’t think of anything else I would rather do. Isn’t that crazy? That makes me believe that there is still hope for me. I can’t wait to read your book. It’s my last hope!

    • Michael Linsin May 2, 2016 at 12:41 pm #

      Hi Lelia,

      I really believe that any one of the 11 habits can make a considerable difference. Together, they can change a career.

      Michael

  31. Ron May 3, 2016 at 9:54 am #

    The book is £16 (incl p&p – about US$23) from Amazon in the UK. Is there any other non-kindle way of getting it?

    • Michael Linsin May 3, 2016 at 10:44 am #

      Hi Ron,

      Not electronically. However, the book should be available for order from any independent bookstore.

      Michael

  32. Chuck May 7, 2016 at 2:10 pm #

    Will definitely be reading this. I was just thinking I needed something to read to re-inspire me to love teaching again. I was actually planning on re-reading your older books, but it’s great that you have something new for me to tackle! Thanks for writing this!

    • Michael Linsin May 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm #

      You’re welcome, Chuck! I hope you like the book.

      Michael

  33. Lindy Dunn May 10, 2016 at 10:35 pm #

    I need to read this book to inspire me to keep teaching because recently I lost my patience having to deal with large class sizes and less time to plan and prepare because I become tired. I am willing and ready to practice what is there for me. Thank you for the difference you are making in my life.

    • Michael Linsin May 11, 2016 at 6:52 am #

      You’re welcome, Lindy. I hope you enjoy the book.

      Michael