How students perceive our presence in the classroom has a huge impact on everything from their trust in us to their ability to learn efficiently. This is partly due to mirror neurons and partly because how we feel (or act like we feel) affects our communication, our enthusiasm, our attention to students’ needs, and even our ability to remember what we’re supposed to be doing.
Teachers aren’t the only ones responsible for how teachers feel. School and district leaders, as well as society in general, have a responsibility toward our well-being. Whether they act on that responsibility or not, though, there are ways we can improve our chances of being and appearing calm and focused, for the sake of our own health and for the sake of student learning.
Here are three mantras that I rely on and that teachers I’ve trained have reported to make a big difference, each with an under-two-minute video unpacking the mantra and giving you a little pep talk:
1. It’s Just Teaching
2. First, Breathe
3. Speak Softly
I hope these help! Don’t hesitate to turn to the other mantras when you need a pro tip or encouraging word.
For ideas on helping students develop calm focus in the classroom without sacrificing instructional time, check out this post.
How do you cultivate calm in yourself and your students?