Teachers’ Happiness: Does it Affect Their Performance?
Does teachers’ happiness have an effect on their productivity? Does it have any effect on the quality of education they provide? How can we improve teachers’ happiness?
Happiness provides a 12-13% boost in productivity. Promoting teachers’ happiness in the workplace can be done in a variety of ways.
We have physical exercises, mental exercises and other forms of activity that can raise teachers’ happiness. All you have to do is read on and find which ones work for you.
Table of Contents
- Positive Effects Of Happiness In The Workplace
- Attaining Happiness Through Physical Activity
- Mental Aspect Of Happiness
- Improve The Work Environment
- Invest In The Right Equipment
- Bright Lights Equals Positive Actions
- Use Neutral Colors On Your Walls
- Deploy Functional Furniture With Contrasting Colors
- Put Up A Creativity Wall Or A Bulletin Board For Announcements And Awards
- Take A Break
- In Conclusion:
- Related Questions:
- Do you want more teaching tips?
Positive Effects Of Happiness In The Workplace
Happiness has a positive effect on everyone in the workplace. Happy people have more confidence, have more self-esteem, and more productivity. People who have confidence and a high sense of self-esteem can handle adverse conditions better than those who don’t.
These are also the people who achieve more in life. These achievements lead to a sense of self-satisfaction that can be spread around to others in the workplace.
Think of it this way: how many times have you struggled with yourself to go to a job you don’t like? When you got there, what were you able to achieve? Not much right? And that’s being generous.
Now think of an activity you like doing and how easy it seems. The day just passes by swiftly and before you know it, you’ve accomplished more than you set out to do.
Now, put this in an educational facility setting.
Teachers are human, too. They go through a range of emotions throughout the day. They may start out motivated or not or change midway through the day. That’s normal. Everyone goes through phases in their emotions.
Stress can bring everyone down leading to negative results in workplace productivity.
The trick is how to maintain that happiness momentum to last the day.
Studies have shown that happy people, no matter what job they have, are just more productive. And happiness can be found in so many places or through activities that uplift the spirit.
Physical exercises, mental exercises, fostering creativity, engaging in sports, these are just some of the activities that can help promote that. And we’ll go through all of these in the next few sections.
Attaining Happiness Through Physical Activity
This is probably the best way to make people happy. Physical activity just has a way of releasing happy hormones into our system. So, we’ll talk about doing a few exercises first.
Exercise Is Not Only Good For The Body But For The Mind Too
One can’t stress enough how important it is to be physically fit to have good mental health.
How does exercise improve teachers’ happiness? Anyone who’s done even the slightest bit of exercise in their life knows there’s an instant pay-off after sweating it out at the gym. Our bodies produce “feel-good” chemicals called endorphins after exercising.
Serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine are included in the happiness package. So get the yoga mat out and try a little bit of stretching.
So, for all of our teachers’ happiness, here are a few easy to do workout exercises. These exercises don’t require anything other than a small space and a few minutes every day.
Breathing should come naturally to everyone, right? Sure. But proper breathing doesn’t. It’s important to employ proper breathing when doing exercises.
You do this by breathing in through the nose, holding it in for a second, and breathing out through the mouth. Maintain the proper posture as you do this and inhale and exhale as much air with each pass. Do this eight to twelve times before and while exercising.
This in itself is a form of exercise. You can even do this during break times just to help clear your mind and lighten the stress.
Most teachers spend the majority of their work-life in the seated position. Doing seated crunches is a great way to squeeze in some exercise during the day.
First, sit straight and pull your stomach in to bring your entire upper body down. Use your abdominal muscles to do this.
To get even better results, you can also do crunches while lying down on the floor.
This requires getting off your seat and reserving a little space to perform this exercise properly. Start off standing with both feet together and then take a step forward as far as you can go. While doing that, bring your body down putting all your weight on the forward foot.
Do this until your upper thigh is parallel to the floor and hold for three seconds before going back to the starting position. Do the same for the other foot.
You can do this seated or standing. Just raise your arms to your side until it’s parallel to your shoulders. Hold it for three seconds before bringing them back down to your side. Do this eight times and it will loosen your upper body and relieve stress.
You can also do a variation of this by raising your arms straight front or to your back. Wiggle your fingers or rotate your wrists to get more relief.
One of the main areas affected by stress is the neck. You can also do this seated or standing up. This is a very simple set of exercises you can do with no equipment needed.
Head Tilt: Front, Back And Side Tilt
First, tilt your head down just enough to feel your neck muscles stretch and hold it for three seconds. You can use your hand to add a little pressure as you do this but be careful not to put too much strain on your neck muscles.
Next, tilt your head up or look at the ceiling as far as you can go and hold it for three seconds. Place your hand on your forehead for added pressure if needed. Now tilt your head to the side and hold for another 3 seconds before doing the same to the other side. Repeat at least eight times.
Once you’re done with the head tilt, proceed with the side looks. You can do this by placing your hand lightly on your chin and adding a slight pressure as you look to either side. Do this for three seconds for each side and repeat eight times.
Last but not least, neck rotations. This involves the entire set of motion from the front tilt, side looks, and side tilt, back tilt and back again to the original position. Do this slowly so you won’t get light-headed. Closing your eyes also helps. Do this eight times in each direction for maximum effect.
These are just examples of easy exercises you can do anywhere, from the workplace to your own home.
Engage In Sports
This is another form of physical activity that you can engage in with other teachers. The competition between you and others is a great way to quickly foster camaraderie. The shared experience is a good bonding tool to raise teachers’ happiness.
What are sports you can safely engage in?
Basketball, bowling, volleyball, and baseball are great team sports. You can form teams from as small as groups of threes to a larger one comprised of ten. You can make this a weekly or monthly activity so teachers can interact with one another in a different environment outside the workplace.
Take Up Yoga
There’s a reason why yoga has been around for a long time. It works.
Even though it’s been translated into other forms, yoga, at its core, is a very effective physical activity that helps in promoting teachers’ happiness.
A few minutes of yoga is enough to give a thorough workout akin to that achieved in a gym. You can also do these activities anywhere that has enough space for you to move into different positions easily.
Mental Aspect Of Happiness
Although doing physical activities have a great effect on your mental faculties, doing things that solely engage your brain also has an effect on teachers’ happiness. Here are a few mental activities you can do that will also have an effect on your emotional happiness.
Play Online Games
Who said anyone’s too old for online games?
Playing online games is a great way to give yourself a break. There are many great games out there from first-person shooters to side-scrolling games and puzzles. There are also strategy games that can really give your brain a workout.
Civilization type of games is another good way to escape from the mundaneness of life and give you a sense of control. Or, if this isn’t your type of thing, there are a wide variety of word games that can help you increase your vocabulary. There’s virtually an endless amount of games to choose from.
Aside from resources for work, we’ve also included some online games that you can download and play at your own leisure. Try some of the games we’ve included in AllDigitalSchool’s resources page. Check them out now and play to your heart’s content.
Watch A Movie Or Watch A Play
Watching a movie is also a great way to promote teachers’ happiness. There’s a high entertainment value in good movies that alleviates stress.
Going to the theater is a great experience whether you do it alone or with a group.
Watching a play is also a nice experience that increases teachers’ happiness.
Music Is Good For The Soul
They say music is good for the soul. Studies show that certain types of music do have positive effects on teachers’ happiness.
Playing classical music in the background can reduce the monotony of working in a quiet place.
Putting instruments nearby for teachers who are musically talented is a great way to foster their creativity. Placing multiple instruments for teachers to play together is an even better idea.
Teachers burning out is a real thing. And when that happens, the quality of the lessons degrades.
Allowing teachers to be creative on their own or through how they deliver their lessons is a great way to raise teachers’ happiness.
So how do you foster creativity?
One of the best ways to do that is to immerse teachers in new situations, cultural experiences and letting them meet new people.
You have to understand that teachers have pretty much a thankless job that’s filled with behavioral problems, unreasonable people (parents, children, co-workers), paperwork, and other challenges. And these things often comprise the entirety of their day.
All of these are stress factors that leave very little in the sense of mental health. Fostering creativity opens up opportunities for teachers to explore other avenues. This can lead to innovation in their teaching methods.
Coming up with new, engaging ways to deliver maths lessons is a great way to make things fun and exciting in the classroom. It can be mentally fulfilling for you, too. And kids will surely welcome this change of pace in their daily lives.
So, try being creative with your lessons or pick up a hobby that challenges your creativity and watch the wonders unfold.
Meditation is a great way to clear your mind.
Although some people wouldn’t count meditation as a physical form of exercise, studies show that the energy expended is equivalent to running.
How do you meditate?
If you’re new to this, find a quiet spot that’s free from any distractions. Distractions include people walking in, electronic noises, bright lights, anything that would make you lose focus. The best place is a dim, out-of-the-way area where you can sit down and truly relax.
You can do this sitting down or standing. Better if you take the kneeling position like most meditation practitioners. Keep your back straight and remember to breathe properly. Close your eyes and clear your mind from everything.
Meditation is recommended early in the morning or in the middle of the day.
Journals Aren’t For High School Students Anymore
One of the obstacles to teachers’ happiness is the lack of anyone to talk to. Sure, there are other teachers they can have a conversation within school or online, but sometimes these talks just involve work.
Talking to your students won’t help because they may not be old enough to understand or they also have other things to worry about. Plus, it might affect your relationship as a teacher and as a learner.
So, how do you go about that?
One great way to get your thoughts out is to pour it into a journal. It can be an online journal, an electronic one saved on your computer or written down on a notebook. Any of these works.
What are the things you can write about?
Your main source of stress is work, right? So, why not talk about it in your journal? Another good thing about doing this is that you’re fully fleshing out a problem that you can then revisit and find a solution for.
No matter how perfect a family is, there will always be some things left unspoken that you need to air out. You can also document what’s happening to your family.
Physical Fitness Progress Report
You’re doing the physical fitness exercises we discussed in the previous section right? So, why not jot down your progress?
Doing this helps you see how much you’ve accomplished and push you to reach even higher targets.
A journal is also a great way to arrange future plans. This is a great way to exercise your creativity. These ideas don’t even have to be logical at first. You can start with the end and work your way to the beginning of your plan. Anything goes.
Things To Be Thankful For
Last but not the least, talk about things that you should be thankful for having in your life. One key to teachers’ happiness is to open up the path to being grateful for what you have.
Improve The Work Environment
One trick the best managers employ is creating the best possible workplace to get the best results. Improving your current work environment is one way to enhance teachers’ happiness.
Invest In The Right Equipment
One reason why workers gripe about their work environment is the equipment they have to use. One way to raise teachers’ happiness is by investing in the right equipment. This allows teachers to create and deliver their lessons better.
The price of computers has significantly gone down over the years. What we would consider the top of the line computers a decade ago are now just regular computers.
There are decent computers available in the market today that are powerful enough to help teachers with their tasks. Macbooks and high-end i7 processor computers are priced well within the reach of the average consumer nowadays.
These computers can handle anything from writing documents to light photo and video manipulation. The price shouldn’t make too much of a dent in your savings. The pay-off should be worth the investment.
You will also need high-speed internet available to your faculty so they can have an uninterrupted connection to their resources.
Last but not least, mobile devices like phones and tablets can also be made available for those who need it in their class presentations. Throw in a projector and screen to help teachers better deliver their lessons to the class.
Bright Lights Equals Positive Actions
Start with illumination. Well-lit areas instantly seem to decrease stress in the workplace. Fluorescent lights positioned high above the work area in regular intervals should eliminate dark spots. Make sure these hang high above so that it covers large spaces without the risk of it getting hit.
Providing desk lamps to teachers is also a good thing. A powerful lamp can help them focus a beam of light on their work. This also reduces eyestrain just in case shadows fall over their desk.
Walkways and areas where teachers convene can also benefit from having a large number of powerful lights. This keeps the mood from changing as they go through each room in their daily lives.
Use Neutral Colors On Your Walls
Walls with neutral colors stabilize the equilibrium in the room. This is a great way to level off high emotions. White is a good color to start with. Grey is also a good office color. Beige works well, too. Combining these three should give your office a warm atmosphere while still keeping it neutral.
Stripes, when used sparingly can have a positive effect on teachers’ happiness as it breaks the monotony of just having a big, blank wall.
Deploy Functional Furniture With Contrasting Colors
You’ll need to add color to the workplace. To do this, use furniture that provides a bit of contrast. Light-colored desks help reflect the light from above making the workspace seem brighter. Adding splashes of red or blue can change moods accordingly, so use these too.
A couch situated in an out of the way area is a perfect place for some teachers to rest if they feel overburdened by their tasks. These can also be used as alternative workstations if they have laptops or mobile devices.
Ensure that the furniture you’ve placed inside the work environment is sturdy enough for daily use. They must have ergonomic features to prevent back or wrist stress.
Break The Color Up With Some Greenery
Placing potted plants inside the workplace is not only good for improving the aesthetics of the office but it also helps improve the air inside. Place a few potted plants and allow teachers to place some of their own on their desks.
Make sure to water these plants on a regular basis and take them out every now and then to have some sunlight.
Open Up And Let The Sunshine In
Just like the sun is good for plants, so is it good for people. So open up those windows and let the sunshine in.
At least reserve a place in your office that has windows where people can go and soak in some sunlight.
An Open Area For Group Activities
Sometimes, allowing teachers to collaborate with one another enhances happiness in the workplace. Set aside an open area where this can happen. If space is limited, at least make sure the furniture in your office can easily be moved to add more space.
Reserve A Rest And Relaxation Room In The Office
Everyone needs to take a rest from time to time, and placing a rest and relaxation room is always good for teachers’ happiness. Equip the room with comfortable furniture like the one discussed above. Recliners are perfect pieces of furniture for this place too.
Make sure there is enough space for teachers away from other people so that they will not be bothered when they are resting or napping.
Place An Area Where People Can Eat In Peace
Some people like to eat when they’re taking a break. Placing an area where teachers can eat in peace is always a good thing. Cafeterias can be noisy and too public for some discussions teachers may want to engage in.
Make sure this area has everything needed like a wash counter, a microwave and a table with comfortable chairs. You can include a stove if that passes the safety standards for those who would want to cook their meals.
Make sure this area also has great ventilation so that smells can be removed immediately. Install an exhaust fan to help suck the smoke out efficiently.
Put Up A Creativity Wall Or A Bulletin Board For Announcements And Awards
A place for teachers to post creative stuff or receive recognition for their achievements is a great way to increase teachers’ happiness. Place it in an area with the most foot traffic.
Allow everyone to contribute by placing pins, staplers, and pieces of tape within reach.
Take A Break
When all else fails, take a break. Just move away from your work desk for a predetermined period of time and allow yourself a refresher.
You need to take a breather every now and then.
All work and no play makes one a dull teacher.
Teachers’ happiness is essential for providing high-quality education.
Allowing teachers to engage in activities that promote health and well-being can result in better lessons delivered. Students benefit from this by getting more things achieved with better results.
For total teachers’ happiness create programs that include physical, mental, spiritual and recreational activities. Providing space, time, and tools for them to do this is a good investment for any workplace.
Another way to increase teachers’ happiness is by investing in high-quality equipment for more workplace efficiency. This reduces the stress teachers encounter due to sub-standard tools that could become obstacles to their progress.
Last but not least, always remember that teachers’ happiness increases productivity by at least 12 to 13%, which is always a good thing.
How Does My Happiness As A Teacher Affect My Students?
Teachers’ happiness has a great effect on students’ learning. Happy people have a more positive outlook in life and this can affect the people around them. Your heightened energy and focus will translate to lessons better delivered to your students. That equals great grades for everyone.
What About Hiking Or Dancing? Can I Engage In Those Activities For My Happiness?
Yes. Hiking or dancing are excellent offline activities that promote health and well-being. Both of these activities promote total body workout. Dancing to music also engages the auditory senses while hiking promotes total calm while you immerse in nature. If you have time, do it.
Can I Let My Students Join Me When I Do My Exercises?
Yes. Any activity that you can involve your students in will do everyone good. Physical activity is just as healthy for children as it is for adults. You can even include it as part of your break time activities so the “school” day isn’t interrupted and the lessons can continue afterward.
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