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Karen Lambert

Monash University Lecturer. Addicted and compassionate traveler,

If you could you’d probably wish for deeper connections with those round you, amazing job satisfaction, through the roof teaching moments, buckets of spare time, fantastic holidays and piles of money? From my 20 years experience as an educator and coach I’ve found that there are four core reasons why most teachers don’t ever become AWESOME and experience these things.

I’m not sure whether you have given much thought to re-imagining your future life path as an educator or living out your grand dreams to change the lives of others. But I’d probably be right in guessing that if you could you’d probably wish for deeper connections with those round you, amazing job satisfaction, through the roof teaching moments, buckets of spare time, fantastic holidays and piles of money?

From my 20 years experience as an educator and coach I’ve found that there are four core reasons why most teachers don’t ever become AWESOME and experience these things. Today I share two of these reasons with you + some ideas for getting your awesome on!

The first is COURAGE

I read recently that something like 2.2 million Australians are dissatisfied with their chosen job, and that 75% of all workers would actually like a new job. That’s a huge chunk of our working population that spend most of their days unhappy lacking the courage to make the changes they know deep inside they really need and want.

Teaching requires tremendous courage every single day. You really need to ask yourself continuously why you are doing it and what you want from it. Regularly and intentionally returning to your own ‘why’ of teaching ensures that the ‘how’ will take care of itself. If you have the ‘why’ (passion) the ‘how’ (process) will simply follow.

Try asking yourself these kinds of questions in moments of stress or low motivation:

  • How can I move beyond my daily worries be he kind of teacher I want to be?
  • How would I feel if I actually lived my dreams right now?
  • What would happen if I were happy everyday? What would be the outcome in my life? In the lives of my students?
The second is FOCUS

For example are you still with me? Or is your mind wandering off somewhere else? Do you find you start projects but don’t complete them? Write fantastic lists – but never cross stuff off them? That’s focus – your ability to decide on a path or action and stick to it … until the end.

So many teachers have told me that when they worry about their work or start to think about possible outcomes they start to contract, and to lose focus. They say that their minds become more focussed on the negatives, and what may potentially go wrong as well as all the reasons why this or that shouldn’t or can’t happen. This can be explained physiologically because when we start to expect something bad to happen our energy to have success tends to get smaller, to contract. So we lose clarity and confidence, plus we break all of those promises to ourselves to not do that anymore.

There are heaps of ways to stay focused and keep your eyes on the ball. Some involve developing more awareness, others require an attitude shift, and still more just need to move from idea to action.

Here are some TIPS to think about in order to stay a bit more focused:

  • Awareness: Pay attention to what you do and say; take notice of the effect of your words and actions on others; identify those behaviours, attitudes or habits that are holding you back from being the best you can be

  • Attitude: Commit to ongoing personal and professional development; maintain balance in your life; stay committed to your own goals, revise them regularly and continue to challenge the boundary conditions of what you know

  • Action: Plan specific small actions to make your dreams a reality; stay in the present moment; take courses of action that build your skills, resiliency and confidence; be realistic but stretch yourself; maintain energy and motivation around all tasks to do with teaching

So you may not be totally awesome just yet but after reading this and honestly considering the questions and task you could well be on the way to AWE!

Can’t wait to get your AWESOME on? Head straight to Part 2 now!