Veteran happy teachers say that setting a friendly tone is key. Daily praise of each student’s good qualities, daily affirmations of class mottos, cooperation exercises, secret handshakes, and even daily post-it notes of positivity. Looking for a little something to start the year off right with your Happy Buddy’s teacher? You’ll love these FREE Printable Teacher Gift Ideas! One can never go wrong with homemade cookies in a mason jar as a special treat for a special teacher. It’s Overflowing has the cute FREE Printable tag to go along with.
Throughout my life I have learned a great deal. I have learned a lot about being an entrepreneur, about making money and about spending money. However, above all things I have learned that two of the most important elements to life are being successful and being happy. I spend my life sharing information with others and trying to teach people how to change their lives and their careers, which is why I am always more than happy to share some of the most poignant lessons of my life so far, particularly when it comes to finding success and happiness. Here are five of the biggest lessons that I have learned about being successful and happy.
I know this sounds strange coming from an individual who spends a living on teaching people how to make money, but it really isn’t everything. If you want to be successful, focus on doing what you love, even if it is not hugely profitable in the beginning. In the way, you will find ways to make more profit out of it, but you need to focus on fulfilling yourself first.
Related: 8 Keys to Finding Your Inner Happiness
If you want to be successful and happy in life, then you can’t be closed-minded or make assumptions. The world can be a small and cruel place if you start making assumptions about people and your limitations. Try to keep an open mind. Most people are actually great individuals if you just keep your mind open. Your potential can be unlimited if you just stop making assumptions. It allows you to open yourself up to possibilities and to do what you have always wanted, no matter what anyone has told you in your life before.
Sure, you need to make sure you build your business and pay your bills but the most important thing in your life should be focusing on your education and personal growth. This doesn’t mean getting as many fancy (and expensive) college degrees as you can but it does mean focusing on growth. We live in an exciting age where you can learn virtually anything and everything on the Internet. Free guides such as the Penny Stock Guide are invaluable. Once you have the knowledge and skills, everything is much easier in the long run.
Related: 3 Strategies for Hacking Happiness
Whether it is your relationship with family, friends or significant others, you need to cherish the relationships that you have. Don’t let work and greed consume you. This is a mistake that so many entrepreneurs today make and one that is neverworth it in the end.
Just because you don’t have success right away, it doesn’t mean that you can’t find success later on. I have a few students that have struggled for months and eventually found some of the best success possible. These are the individuals that didn’t get overwhelmed with small setbacks and mistakes.
Related: Success vs. Happiness: Don't Be Fooled Into Thinking They're the Same
These are a few of the many lessons that I have learned along the way when it comes to success and happiness. Lessons that I hope all individuals, whether you are a student or not, can benefit from as well.
I found my life’s calling when I became a teacher. Finally, I thought, a job I could see doing for the rest of my life.
And pretty much as soon as I found my calling, I lost my f*king marbles.
I’ve always been a super productive, perfectionist, ambitious, go-getter and stepping into a new career wasn’t going to change that fact.
My plan was to be the best teacher ever in the history of the universe.
Even if I had to do ridiculous things to get there.
My first year I worked the first 72 days of school straight. No weekends, no evenings, no friends, no exercise, no fun. I was in it to win it, friends.
Work, work, work. You name it, I did it: lesson and unit planning, curriculum and classroom management trainings after school and on the weekends, seating charts, weekly progress reports, calls home and community building activities.
I limped to the finish line that year with the promise I’d do better the next year. Teaching would get easier with time I told myself.
Turns out my second year, was harder than the first. I had an exceptionally challenging class, and I again told myself teaching would get easier when I had more experience under my belt.
By the end of my third year, I was exhausted from teaching and some personal grief, and if I’m being totally honest, completely unhinged. Mentally and physically exhausted, I knew something had to really change if I was going to stay in this profession.
A couple more years passed pretty much the same way. I was doing the same thing and expecting a different result: working too much, too hard and promising to do better “next year” and each year I just got more and more exhausted.
The worst part? It was affecting my ability to be a good teacher. Resentment was building and I was becoming less flexible and fun, both inside and out of the classroom.
But let’s be honest, not much changed because I didn’t know where to start. Knowing something needs to change and actually making real changes are two very different things.
Time and experience were not going to be the only thing to help me stay healthy, happy and sane in the classroom. That much I figured out.
Midyear, my principal called me into his office to basically stage an intervention. He asked me if i was happy being a teacher.
Keep in mind, this guy thought I kicked ass in the classroom. He knew I excelled at all the teacher work, but he wanted to know if I’d be happier doing something else because he didn’t see a single ounce of joy in my face.
I cried. Totally ugly cried. Because, the answer was no. I wasn’t happy being a teacher. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else for a living because I still felt I was called to be a teacher. But I wasn’t happy doing things the way they were being done.
Something had to change.
It wasn’t pretty.
I was embarrassed because apparently I wasn’t the best teacher in the universe after all.
Then I got mad.
And then I got real.
If “they” weren’t going to appreciate all the time and effort I was putting into my classroom, then I just wasn’t going to any more. I’d show them…
So instead of spending every free moment of my life working, I started going to yoga class in the afternoon. I started cooking dinner and making sure I had good leftovers for lunch. I started making plans with friends for fun.
That’s when it all clicked.
When I was happier in my life outside the classroom, life in the classroom was happier.My patience grew, my appreciation for my students grew, my resentment disappeared and we ALL did better.
Let me repeat that last part: My students did better at school when I took better care of myself.
Maya Angelou is famous for saying “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Teaching is a marathon and requires some serious training. And not that kind they cover in your credential program.
Enter: The Healthy, Happy Sane Teacher.
What’s your secret to being a happy classroom teacher?
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