Refocusing in these Tough Economic Times

Are you overworked with not enough time to do your work? Are your students losing interest in the content? How do you bring back the joy of teaching when it seems like everything may be falling apart around you?


* Recognize

* Empower

* Focus

* Redirect Objectives

* Commit

* Unburden

* Surprise

Recognize all your strengths and achievements. Go back to why you became a teacher, technology specialist or administrator. Remember the lessons that worked and encouraged great discussions. Think about all the times where you know you did a good job. It’s okay to acknowledge that you are good at what you do.


Create a list of your strengths and skills. List your five greatest personal achievements in the past year. How did you feel during those moments? You can do this same activity with your students in a small group by asking them to share skills, attitudes, and knowledge they have acquired in the past few weeks. Reliving these peak experiences can really empower you to teach with greater enthusiasm and a sense of purpose.


With so much on your plate, you may have trouble focusing on all of yours task. At the beginning of each week, list your lessons and activities. Visualize how your students will increase their skills and improve their academic achievement. Since you know some students will benefit the most from one lesson where others may have difficulty understanding the concepts. You may find that if you assign the easy, important tasks first, then you can motivate your students to continue working until more difficult tasks are assigned.

Redirect Objectives

Every lesson has objectives but you may find that you are not able to meet now because of time constraints and other challenges. You may find that after most of the year has passed, that your lessons need re-evaluating and new learning targets or benchmarks. Specific lessons that present information without the knowledge of students’ learning styles may now need hands-on activities and more computer use.


After you create the new learning targets that will meet the different learning styles of your students, make sure you commit to follow through. There will be obstacles and challenges as you try new activities but it is important for you to commit to try these new activities. Ask your students to also commit to being active participants in with these new activities.


Many teachers and administrators are perfectionists. We are supposed to be the experts. Maybe if you learn to let go and allow your students to take more responsibilities for their learning, you will find that your job will become easier and more enjoyable. It is not that easy to let go but try to unburden yourself and your students. Your job is to look for barriers that may be holding you or your students back.


How do you keep your students motivated all year round? How about keeping you motivated? Tell a story that will help your students visualize the concept. You can use anecdotes, metaphors, singing, plays, or other strategies that activate their imaginations. You can even bring in the economic crisis and let students discuss how they would solve it.

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Barbara Bray, President, My eCoach