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Let’s face it: teaching can sometimes be a stressful gig. It is so easy to fall into the trap of focusing on the negative, but doing that only gives you more stress! There are so many little things that you can do to make your day a little bit happier. The 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge is designed to help you connect with students, build staff rapport, organize your school life, keep yourself healthy, and help you focus on the positive! Ready to get started? Just download and print the Happy Teacher Challenge calendar by clicking the image below, put it on your desk at school, and do your best to accomplish each of the daily challenges.
Here is a list of all of the challenges you will complete as well as some pictures from teachers who have shared their progress online. Click on the pictures to be taken to those teachers’ accounts!
1. Pull a student aside to tell them how much they have improved or how proud you are of them.
2. Spend 10 minutes organizing an area in your classroom that has become a bit chaotic (drawer, bookcase, your desk, etc.).
3. Strike up a conversation with a colleague that you don’t normally speak to very much.
4. Write a funny joke on your board for students to read when they enter your class.
5. Take a short walk during your lunch, preparation period, or after school. Don’t focus on your to-do list or the problems you are facing. During the walk, think about the things in your life that make you the happiest.
6. Calm the paper chaos. Organize your papers or student work by filing them, throwing them away, or putting them in an orderly fashion.
7. Think of a student in your class who might sometimes be overlooked. They are the student who is behaved and always works well, but they might not stand out as a top student. Call that student’s parent or guardian with some praise.
8. Compliment another teacher on something they have done well. Maybe you overheard about a great lesson they did, or you notice how much time they have been dedicating to extra-curricular activities. Appreciation goes a long way.
9. Find an inspirational quote that you relate to in some way, write it on a post-it, and put it somewhere on your desk.
10. Don’t do ANY work during lunch today and don’t feel guilty about it. Eat, and then do something that you find relaxing (chatting with other teachers, taking a walk, checking your phone, etc.). If you need to escape, try going into your classroom and sitting out of sight of the door. This way no one will interrupt you.
11. At the start of class, pass out index cards and ask students to respond to this prompt: “I wish my teacher knew this about me.” (See the picture below of a teacher who joined in by telling her students what she wished they knew!)
12. Download this FREE desk planner, laminate it, and attach it to your desk! Use dry erase markers to write in important reminders to keep you organized.
14. Make a conscious effort to smile more today—especially at those students who aren’t having a great day. Smiles tend to be contagious.
15. Use the last few minutes of class to take a group photo of the students in your class. Print the picture, and post it in your classroom.
16. Give a compliment to a student who often seems to get in trouble.
17. Clean up a small area in your class that has been getting a bit disorganized.
18. Play some relaxing music while your students are working today.
19. Teachers can be very critical. Start the day off by thinking of three things you are doing really well as a teacher. Say those three things out loud to yourself. Maybe you have made great connections with students, you had a good lesson the other day, or your classroom management is improving. Focus on the positive!
20. Regular exercise is a great way to de-stress. Make time for exercise today. It can be a walk after work, a trip to the gym, or you could even try a short 20-30 minute aerobics or yoga video on YouTube!
21. Write a note to a student who has done something kind or thoughtful to show them that their good deed is noticed.
22. Sometimes our computer can become a disorganized mess! Organize the files on your computer’s desktop today. Make and title file folders, and then put the documents in them!
23. Share a successful lesson you did with a colleague who teaches the same subject or grade level as you.
24. Think of a student who doesn’t always get the recognition they deserve for their work. Display that student’s work in your classroom somewhere (with their permission).
25. Teachers generally do not drink enough water! Drinking water helps energize muscles, keeps your kidneys healthy, and keeps you looking great. Set yourself up for success by having a water bottle nearby in your classroom and attempting to drink 2 liters of water in the day.
26. Take a minute today to think about the top 5 things you love about teaching. You can also write them down and have them somewhere as a reminder when you are overwhelmed by the stresses that sometimes come with the job!
27. Make a colleague or staff member’s day by doing something nice for them. Bring them a coffee in the morning, put a little treat in their mailbox, or do something else thoughtful to bring a smile to their face.
28. Are you having an issue in your classroom? Don’t try to deal with it on your own. Talk to a colleague that you respect to ask their advice on how to deal.
29. Try using an exit pass at the end of a lesson to see what your students have learned! If you have time, post the exit passes somewhere in your classroom. Click here to get a FREE social media-inspired exit pass you can use with any subject.
30. Greet your students at the door and give them high-fives as they enter. If they are in high school, they will probably roll their eyes, but they will secretly think you are awesome.
I hope this Happy Teacher Challenge brings some positivity to your day! Don’t forget to tag me (@prestoplans) and use the hashtag #happyteacherchallenge when you share on social media.
Click here to download the 30 Day Happy Teacher Challenge Calendar.
If you are looking for more classroom community tips and resources, click here!
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