Of all the professions you could have chosen for your life’s work, you chose teaching. That makes you a special person. Elementary teachers have a hand in molding the minds of our future citizens. Secondary teachers have the challenging task of helping young people prepare for life beyond high school. What you do as an educator matters.
Last month, we spoke about the importance of appreciation and how sparse it seems to be in the lives of so many teachers. This time, we are going to help you bring the Embody Learning method of teaching into your own life, in hopes of increasing your sense of appreciation for YOU!
Engagement: What’s Your Ritual?
We all have rituals, whether or not we acknowledge them. Subconsciously, our unspoken rituals can morph into a mental backhoe, digging a rut that keeps getting deeper, muddier and more unpleasant. One day you look up and you realize the truth. You’re in a massive rut!
Upset the applecart! Change your rituals. Go home via a different route. Stop for ice cream on the way. Engage in some little act of appreciation for yourself. It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture. Your brain will appreciate any delightful change in your usually mundane routine. Create something new to disrupt the old. That brings us to pillar number two . . .
Explore: What Are Your Options?
This is all about appreciation. About you feeling appreciated. Granted, you may not have any feelings of appreciation in your work environment, or you may be one of those fortunate few who have many. Good for you, but for those who don’t, what are your options?
With the Embody Learning method we teach students to explore and discover new information on their own. Now, you get to explore and discover new information you can use to enhance your life. You get to negotiate, take risks, experiment, imagine and innovate. The field of possibilities is wide open. The only requirement is that it creates joy in your life.
It may be an ice cream cone or a new pair of shoes on payday. It could be an afternoon in the batting cage or on the golf course. Maybe it’s as simple as a candlelit bubble bath with your favorite music playing in the background. Do that which brings you joy and causes you to feel appreciated, which is a nice segue into the final pillar . . .
Show: Give Yourself a Hug
Those in the people-helping professions – social work, teaching, (parents) – these are the people who probably need appreciation the most and who are least likely to receive it in anywhere near the proportion they give others.
Show yourself the appreciation you deserve by taking good care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. Find those things that bring you joy and go for it.