The observations and memories that we collect during the day (and take home with us at the end of the day) have a huge impact on our happiness. In “The Burnout Cure: Learning to Love Teaching Again” , Chase Miekle notes that “Each day we make decisions about what experiences we carry with us. Sometimes we bring home the good things – stories of student resilience, recognition of our self-worth, affirmation that what we do matters. But more often it seems we collect the heavy things – memories of student misbehaviour, rumination about things beyond our control, fixation on failures.”
Sure it’s difficult to forget a student throwing a chair at you or other shocking behaviour. However, if we collect too much of the negative and carry it too often, our work can feel heavy and hopeless. At the end of the day, the burdens we carry may leave us with a discontent that disrupts our minds as we try to sleep and taints our morning as we wake.
Whilst it is easy to focus on the negative experiences, especially after an exhausting day, there is benefit in trying to identify the positive experiences and take them home too.
A great strategy for this term would be to try to establish the habit of Identifying the positive memories of the day on your way home from school. Are you up for the challenge?