Seal It With A Smile™ | Teaching | Education | Emotions | Brain Building | Classroom | Psychology | Emotional Labor | Relationships
About This Show
Teaching is an emotionally expensive passion — Let’s make it better. The Seal It With A Smile Podcast is where Educators come to learn actionable brain building strategies based on our humanness and supported by scientific research. This show will make you more responsive, more insightful, more congruent, and more effective so YOU can serve as a SUPERMODEL for your kids!
Most Recent Episode
Emotional Fitness: Why I make friends with the roughest kid in class – Episode 030
There is no doubt that the hardest part of teaching is the emotional labor we perform, day in and day out. That is, the lifting of our students spirits, keeping a straight face when they do something bad, even though it was really really funny. Doing our best to not get visibly angry and frustrated when our students misbehave. Understanding that everyone has a bad day, and doing our best to not punish our kids for pushing our buttons, knowing full well, that we may be the only person in their life who will hold their ground, and give them a safe boundary to live in.
This emotional labor will usually compliment the culture and mindset of our school and of our immediate peers. I teach at a Magnet Math, Science, and Technology high school with a population that runs very near 3,000 students. Even though we are a magnet school and we have various STEM related programs, we also teach students who are not in these programs and are taking on-level coursework. Often times I pick up clues from various teachers and students that these on-level students are not "worth their time" to invest energy in. The main reason being that these students will not go above and beyond what others expect from them. This is by no means the culture of our school.
The majority of our teachers make it their priority to see every child, no matter what their background or story, as their own; and to build affirming relationships with every student.
This is the meat of our profession.
The relationships that we build with out students, and with each other, makes this thing we call education, flow and function. And if we are to perform emotional labor, we must be aware of our emotional fitness. For teachers, we can define emotional fitness as:
The ability to understand our emotions in our classroom and engage our students with the most appropriate emotion at the moment.
I want to emphasize this very important point: Emotional fitness is not a reaction.
To respond to a negative situation is a reflex; which is not thoughtful and more instinctual. It is also not intuitive, nor is it evaluated thoroughly to make sure the negative situation is given the appropriate response. Reactions and reflexes work like that.
However, just like a muscle, our emotional fitness must be worked out consistently. And just like a muscle, our gains and strength come from resistance.
There are too many adults (teachers included) who easily dismiss children and students for a variety of reasons. Children are no