Staying motivated in a demanding education role

How do you stay motivated when things get tough?

The education system is constantly changing and, with change, comes new challenges and issues for educators and leaders to stay on top of. From recent reports of increasingly aggressive behaviour used by parents towards schools and teachers and increasing pressure to reply to emails at all hours, to challenges in providing inclusive lessons for all, it can be hard to stay motivated in an increasingly demanding role.

We’ve put together some tips to help you stay motivated.

Value others and encourage a sharing culture

When you’re feeling demotivated, it can be easy to fall into a rut and neglect to see positives in your everyday. Try to acknowledge more of the good things in your day and recognise when your colleagues are shining or going above and beyond. Helping to lift up your peers encourages a supportive and sharing culture, meaning you can strengthen each other at times when things are tough and feel a better sense of community.

Reflect on your successes

Just as being mindful and thinking in the present tense has its place, so too does reflection. As before, take a look at the positives around you and take some time to reflect on your own successes in your career. When challenging issues cloud your outlook, it’s important to take a step back – there will be things you have done and achieved that you should be proud of and other challenging times that you have made it through. You might find a solution in there – along with some positivity.

Take a break

Just as we touched on in our blog on managing burnout, it is so important to allow yourself to take a break – whether that is switching off at home or on the weekends, allowing yourself a break from a project you’ve got your head into or during your working day. It’s easy to accidentally skip the odd break here and there or answer some emails at unusual hours, but too often can become a bad habit that either leads to feeling stressed, overwhelmed or burnt-out. You’ll also give yourself the headspace that otherwise feels impossible when burning through the day.

Seek out new learning opportunities

Learning opportunities should be seen as the chance to improve continually, rather than just a next step in your career path.

If you’re feeling demotivated, whether due to a lack of stimulation in your role or a difficult issue that leaves you feeling stuck, why not take the opportunity to seek out new ways you can develop? Whether you find a course that helps you learn how to handle difficult conversations or you want to become a more proactive leader in general, a little change in perspective and a chance to challenge yourself can go a long way in terms of your motivation.

At NAHT, we’ve launched a whole new autumn programme of CPD events to help you develop, become a better leader and manage your own wellbeing. Take a look at our calendar to see if there’s a course for you.