We all have bad days. We all have good days. And we all have lots and loads of mediocre days that are just kind of “eh.” That is just the way life goes, teacher or not.
I know I am stating the obvious, but the good days tend to be the ones we enjoy more. Duh, right? We get more done. We are happier. We feel more accomplished. But the good ones are not the majority of the days of our lives…life gets in the way and chokes out days from being memorable, let alone good.
We are busy – so much to do and so little time. So many responsibilities to stay ahead of as a teacher. There is school life. There is home life. The needs of your family. The needs of your students. The needs of you.
Not to mention, bad stuff does happen to good people. The smallest thing can send us in a downward descent from the pursuit of good days.
It is not reasonable to think that most days can be good. That is not realistic. And perhaps it is one of the reasons that good days are so good…they are rare and a treasure to find.
I get that. I do. I have been around long enough to know that it is true.
But…what if we could make any day better?
I am not saying make every day a great day, but I am saying you can make any day better. You can make bad days better days. You can make “blah” days less, well, “blah.” AND you can make good days great days! Bonus: it isn’t even hard to do and it is pretty much a guarantee (most of the time)!
I can make any day better? Please, do tell, Teacher. What is this simple way to make every day better?
Yes you can and yes it is very simple.
Get ready for it.
Here it comes.
Drum roll, please.
You can make any day better by making someone else’s day better.
I bet you have heard this before, but it is true. I can tell you from personal experience from practicing it in life, running this blog for the last couple of years, and using social media that helping others be encouraged, happy, or just less sad has the same effect on you as you do it. And it does not matter what kind of day you are having.
When you reach out to others, it does something inside of you. It lets you see a little more color in the world. It helps you to take the blessings and curses in your life in a different way. It gives you a fresh look at the world. It makes you more glad for the things that make you glad and less sad about the things that make you sad. It makes you feel, um, better, even if you where already feeling pretty good.
If you make a practice of trying to find ways to make the day better for other people, you’ll discover that most days are pretty good or close to really good. It’ s all about perspective. It is about seeing life as more than just about you and what is going on in your life. It is about being better to other people.
The cool part is, the people whose day was made better turn and do the same for others. Sometimes you even get to see Pay It Forward kind of miracles happen around you, especially with other teachers at school.
So what are some of the ways I can do this?
That is the best part, there are as many ways as there are people in the world…but I will give you a few ideas to try today. These are the ones I try to practice most, especially on bad days:
- Smile more. Smiling does something inside of you that makes you feel a little happier, and the people you are smiling at feel a little better, too.
- High-fives. More high-fives. Kid President talks about this often. “Let’s live in a world with more high fives.” I have been poked fun at for it before, but high-fives to make people feel better and helps you take yourself a little less seriously. Give at least 10 high-fives today…I bet you will smile a little more (back to Thing 1 🙂 ).
- Tell someone how awesome you think something they are doing is. This one is guaranteed to make all involved feel better. Have a conversation with another teacher about something you think is amazing about how they teach or interact with students and ask them about it. Hey, this one counts as personal PD, too. Score!
- Write a note to someone just letting them know what you notice and like about them. This one is great to do for other teachers and students. I have written to all of my students and other teachers at the school in the last couple of years (over time…not all at once). People really appreciate that. I find that when I did that for the most difficult students (or teachers) it helped me appreciate them more and helped build rapport and relationships. Write a note to a fellow teacher that needs encouragement today and one for a difficult student. Even good days get better with this one!
- Write a note to yourself. This one is best on bad days. Write about what is going right. Write about how you are making a difference. Tell yourself a joke to make you laugh. Remind yourself of what makes you a good teacher and what you should be proud of about you. Keep the note and make yourself read it from time to time. Days will be made better, I promise.
There are many, many more, but this list will get you started. Little things make the most difference. I shared a video from Remind in the last post that was about the small things that teachers do that have the biggest effect on students. They refer to it as “teaching small” and have an initiative called #teachsmall. I love this concept so much, because it is so true. I will talk about it in a future post (because my mind was blown by the idea), but I bring it up now because making students’ and other teachers’ days better are one of the small things that we do that are so important.
When you are having a better day, students are more connected to you and learning more. Other teachers having better days has the same effect for them. Most of all, when students are having a better day because of the influence of teachers, real learning happens and the world and future is changed for the better. So teach small today, Teacher, and make your day and world better.
You are an amazing teacher, even on a bad day! I know you try to make the best of every day…keep on doing that! You are making a difference. You are changing the world, I promise! Keep on making days better and keep on teaching, Teacher!