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DR. LORI FRIESEN

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How to Be Happier (& Enjoy Teaching More)

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Show Notes:

Do you feel genuinely happy in your day to day life, both in and out of the classroom? Happiness is something that we all long for, and I think it’s one of the most important topics that we can talk about on this podcast. 

The older I get, the more I realize that what really matters, and how much we actually enjoy our lives, is determined by how happy we are. So the big question is, if you aren’t happy, how do you change that? How do we become happier in our everyday lives? Most importantly, from a teacher’s perspective, how do we start enjoying teaching more even when we feel like there’s always so much to do?

We are surrounded by things in our lives that make it kind of difficult to find our happiness. We walk into the staff room and it’s filled with negative conversations and complaint after complaint. We scroll through Instagram and all we see are messages of how terrible the teaching situation is right now. It seems like the only way we ever describe how we feel is by using the words overwhelmed, stressed out, and exhausted.

I get it. Sometimes it feels really hard to just be happy. But here’s the good news my friends. It is totally possible to learn the habit of being happy and loving your job. I’m going to share with you what I learned during over ten years in the classroom, and how I found ways to be happier, more satisfied, and more fulfilled.

This conversation was inspired by the book Positive Mindset Habits for Teachers, by Grace Stevens. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy! Inside this book, Grace reminds us that we actually have a professional responsibility to be happier - and I’ll explain why.

Not only does our level of happiness affect our well-being, but it also affects our students. Students respond to our energy in every single moment, and our happiness is directly tied to our level of positive energy. 

Students learn more effectively when they’re happier. So, if we can find ways to be happier and more satisfied with our profession, in turn we will be able to better support our students as learners. The way to accomplish this is through practice. When we commit to this practice, we can learn how to focus on the positive things moving forward.

I want you to see that teaching truly does have the capacity to provide so much pleasure, joy, and sense of accomplishment more than any other profession in the world. You simply have to choose. You have to commit to choosing happier thoughts. 

I’m not going to lie to you - it won't be easy in the beginning. it's going to feel awkward and uncomfortable. But it will get easier, and it will start to feel more natural in time. Most importantly, it will change your life. After all, isn’t happiness what we all want out of life?

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • What often happens during the months of October and November, or the disillusionment phase of teaching.
  • How much our unhappiness and exhaustion affects our students' experiences and feelings. 
  • Why it’s important to reflect on the types of people that we surround ourselves with.
  • How to commit to building the habit of being positive, and the effects that this practice will have on your life.
  • The five measurable building blocks of happiness: pleasure, engagement, meaning, relationships, and accomplishment.

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.

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