10 Survival Tips For Teachers At School

Teachers are often overlooked when it comes to the pressures of school. Image by © JLP/Jose L. Pelaez/Corbis

When the year begins, there is usually so much focus on kids going to back to school and the essential guides for them to survive school life and adjust into a routine but what about the teachers? Who is looking out for the temporary guardians of all these children that walk in and out of school every day? Teachers, we’ve got your back, here are some survival tips for the year ahead.

Don’t Panic! Keep calm and breathe easy

Kids that are returning from the holidays can be handful if not a complete nightmare, and since teaching guides don’t preach this enough: deep breathing will be essential to maintaining your cool in any heated situation. Whenever there’s a moment of stress, take a deep breath, count to five, exhale and resume teaching.

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Death stares and eye rolls can be louder than words

Ask Michelle Obama or mothers everywhere, death stares and eye rolls can save you from many sticky and confrontational situations. All you have to do is think of the phrase you would normally respond with to an adult but replace it with an elaborate eye roll or death stare that cuts through the noise of the class and gets your point across.

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A dramatic exit needs a dramatic outfit

Many teachers in South Africa have one essential superiority over school children that they often overlook, you don’t have to wear a uniform. While this may be a small victory, the right outfit will ensure that when you make a dramatic exit from a class, it is memorable.


Celebrate the little victories

Whether it’s a child who has achieved higher grades because of your extra help or a new sports or cultural club that you have started, always remember to pat yourself on the back or do a little victory dance for the small achievements that often go unnoticed.

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Keep the tension from parents at bay

Parents have a habit of inserting themselves into every situation that they children find themselves in school and sometimes it’s unwarranted. Subtly remind them of their roles and your role as a teacher without facing a disciplinary hearing and you’ll be fine.


Don’t feel guilty about treating yourself after a heavy day

Whether it’s reading a book you’ve been waiting for or watching your favourite TV series with ice-cream in hand, going out with friends or enjoying a glass of wine in the evenings after a long day at school, doing something for yourself daily is essential to keeping a level head.

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Stand your ground

Learning to say no and standing your ground will ensure you don’t drive yourself off the cliff at school. Just say no to too many school commitments, awkward favours from other teachers, questions from students and anyone who takes liberties with your kindness.

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Feng shui your classroom

You’re going to spending so much time there anyway, you might as well add a little personal touch to your classroom to make yourself comfortable. Add a small chill corner for yourself, some extra seating, decorations and things from home that will give you a more comfortable classroom.

An elementary school teacher works at her desk.  Image by © Will; Deni McIntyre/Corbis

Let the music play

Music has a way of taking the blues away. Begin the day with your favourite jam and put on some music during breaks just to take the edge of. It works wonders.

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Have Fun

School doesn’t have to be a drag, it’s as fun as you make it so go ahead, enjoy it.

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Caxton Central

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