Whether you’re a first-year teacher or a veteran, we’re all prone to the same energy zapper—discouragement. Everyone is familiar with the feeling. It’s an ugly business, and it takes courage and effort to face it and fight it.
You’ve probably overheard some of these comments in the teacher’s room:
- I’ll never catch on.
- There is too much to do. I can’t handle it all.
- Nothing seems to work.
- I cannot deal with the misbehavior, parents, and endless paperwork!
Discouragement not only wears us down, it weakens our vision to the point that we can lose focus. And we hate to face it for what it is, don’t we? Instead of being ruled by God’s promises, we find it more comfortable to be ruled by our emotions and quit on the whole thing.
The Psalmist David knew discouragement, but he also knew where to find encouragement— faith-fueled encouragement. I would have fainted, he said, “unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” His advice: “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart.” Psalm 27: 13-14. He looked to the Lord instead of the load. As you believe and trust and wait, here are a few other things to teacher-trusted tips to try out.
Tips to Avoid Getting Discouraged
- Try not to procrastinate. You’ll feel better when things get marked off the list.
- Tackle one challenge at a time. Focus on what’s in front of you.
- Pray for your students—your love will grow.
- Don’t engage with negativity.
- Replace discouraging thoughts with thoughts of gratitude.
- Establish classroom routines: changing classes, assigning and collecting homework, preparing for the next class, sharpening pencils, storing equipment. Routines save time once they are settled. They are the secret to classroom management and happier days.
- Make personal priorities. Create a list of what has to be done that day. Save the rest for the next day.
- Learn some time-saving shortcuts. Experienced teachers are geniuses at step savers. Ask them.
- Keep up with deadlines. Satisfaction is guaranteed when you do.