Lessons in Love... to Yourself - Teaching
Emotional well-being should be a concern to all of us, but particularly for teachers. This is so because we are role models, we are shaping lives and personalities, and this is one big responsibility. I think that to be successful, what is key is to maintain a positive attitude about what we do. This is particularly hard at times because we tend to overwhelm ourselves by thinking of all the things that go wrong, our big concerns, and things we have no control over but we wish we had: the disfunctional family one kid lives with, the learning disability someone else has... while we tend to give less importance to the things we are capable of and good at, how we can improve the life of both students and tend to their needs. Like in a vicious circle, too much negative thinking can make us less effective teachers. And even if it's good to be aware of our shortcomings, it is not so to obsess over them. We should try to focus more of our efforts and attention on the things we can actually do.
We could apply all this to our life in general, teachers or not. Maybe that way problems would still be problems but we could have more control on how much they affect us. We can be proactive and think positively about what we are going to do about it; or we can just let problems bring us down. As Confucious stated (more or less) "If the problem has no solution, why worry? - and if it does have a solution, why worry?
For teachers it's particularly crucial because further beyond from instructing, we spend most of our time modeling and interacting with our students. By these interactions and this exposure to our ways, we influence a great deal of things: how to go about conflicts, attitude towards work challenges... We have the power to inject the students with self confidence and encourage positive thinking.
All in all, we as teachers need to be emotionally caring and well-balanced individuals, and who can enjoy the challenge of shaping emotionally well-balanced people.