Diary submitted by Emilia F., Valencia
How to maintain your enthusiasm and passion for teaching
At first, as with any job, you may find yourself full of energy, spurred on by a spring in your step from passing the interview and getting the job. The excitement of the job will hopefully never fade, opening up opportunities and encouraging the start of where your passion for teaching begins. With time however, your energy may decrease as you find yourself trying to measure the new equilibrium in your life, adjusting yourself and social life with work is no easy matter. You may find yourself partially dreading the classroom time ahead. This is the expected circle of any new job and if you do find yourself lacking energy remember a couple of basic steps.
Primarily, it would be advised from the start not to introduce an overly enthusiastic teaching approach by overwhelming the student. At first, as much as you may want to participate, one must remember that the classes should be student-centred and reducing TTT as much as possible. By asserting a tone from the start the natural ease of friendly professionalism will give your recurring students a knowledge of what to expect, not making them feel that you are becoming disinterested, lacking enthusiasm and energy as the weeks go by. Overall, for the first couple of classes try not to overdo it remain relaxed and confident.
With this in mind, the rest is a matter of well-being and routine. Making the most of free time will allow you to look forward to things. Keep track of your shift and the rota as this will help you assert a bit of structure in your life. By looking ahead of time you can plan things to look forward to. In the book The Little Book of Lykkah it is estimated that a vast percentage of people are happier when they have activities to look forward to. The author writes that ‘if you buy an experience, make sure that it is well into the future so that you can look forward to it’. The study also suggests that people are happier to do this than spending money on things. Try and save some money while you´re working in order to look forward to things.
In accordance to well-being it goes without saying that sleep is essential and down-time is essential. Do as the Spanish and take advantage of those siesta hours. If you are on the late night-early morning shift it may be best to make a little time for yourself and keep the fiestas (parties) until the weekend.