I normally approach each lesson as though I am about to perform on stage. If I am feeling agitated or unhappy I force myself to push aside those feelings and show my excitement about the topic we are about to discuss. I have noticed that lately I have been stuck in a state of boredom when it comes to teaching. I have tried various tricks to get myself out of the rut. Thinking about the needs of the students and why I love teaching seems to help me the most.

I have to remind myself that the students I work with have a lot of interesting ideas and can gain a lot from the ideas in science. It helps me to think about how exciting it can be to learn about DNA and proteins for the first time. I remember all of the negative experiences I have had as a student and how I can offer a better option for those I teach. I look out at their faces and remember just how hard it is to grow up. Not only are they learning new ideas in school and being tested, they are trying to figure out who they are and how they fit in. I guess what this does for me is break my focus on the negative and allows me to see what is right in front of me with a clear perspective. I hate getting caught up in myself because the greatest feeling I have is when I know that my energy today has helped someone. Maybe I just encouraged them to participate in class or showed them how they can understand more than they thought they were capable of, but that is important to me.

As teachers we become exhausted and burnt out if we allow ourselves to stop seeing all the reasons we love what we do. There are days when it is hard for me to remember and I need to have other teachers help me. I would be grateful to have you share your ideas. What do you do to stay positive and have fun?