5 ways to get motivated at the start of term

The festive period is over, your body is rebelling after all the mince pies, chocolates, and extra pints, and you’re out of sync after waking up late every day. Do you really want to go back to work and start teaching again? Probably not, but let’s face it, you have that massive credit card bill to pay. Here are five ways to get motivated for the start of term.


Smile
Even when Monday comes along and my moody teenagers trundle through the door, sling their bags on the floor, and chat to their mate (in their native language) about how much they’d rather be at home playing with their new play station game, I dig out a smile. After a long break the students are at an all time low. If you want happy students then you have to force that smile. Show them that you are happy to be at work (even if you’re not), glad to be teaching English, and they’ll respond. A few will be thinking ‘What’s that dickhead so happy for?’ but some will be more alert. A smile can go a long way in front of an unmotivated class. 
Photo from (Richard Marris)

The next holiday
I know it’s tempting, but don’t look at how far away the next holiday is; you’ll only get depressed. Think on a shorter scale, what have you got planned for that week, what’s happening next weekend. Get through that first week before you start thinking about the Easter or summer break. If you’ve got nothing exciting going on then make a plan. Set yourself up with a prize at the end of your first week and the time will fly by, just like it did the week before your last break. In my case I’ve got a football match to go to next Saturday, which will hopefully inspire me during those slow moments.
Remember why you’re there
Fair enough, you’ve had a decent break, haven’t had to listen to moaning teenagers or dull adults students, but you’re the teacher. You’re in control of your classes and if you make the effort and plan a good class then you’ll make your life easier. It’s in your hands to create fun and interesting classes for your students. Get them engaged and sit back and let them do the work.
A positive attitude is contagious
A couple of years ago our director said that a positive attitude always rubs off on the students. I thought it was a bit corny at the time, but he was right. If you go into the new term with a positive outlook, a happy-go-lucky attitude, then you’ll reap the rewards with more engaged students and hopefully the classes will move quicker. If you go in with a negative ‘I don’t really want to be here’ attitude, then the term will drag. 

Always look on the bright side
You could be sat in a boring office, be working nights as a security guard, or even be out of work. The reason you just had a good holiday was because you had the money to do so. Teaching is fun, or it can be if you make your classes interesting for the students. There’s no point feeling gloomy about going back to work, unless you really hate where you are, in which case, start job hunting www.tefl.com.

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