Moandiering On! Moody Teachers List of Top Grumbles!

Chapter 7 - gossiping Chapter 7 - make too many friends at a time

 

An article by Richard James Rogers

Illustrations by Pop Sutthiya Lertyongohati

Are you a moody moaner? If you are, then join the club because schools all over the world; no matter what the ethos or demographic, all contain their fair-share of moaners.

But what do teachers moan about and is it justified? Let’s answer the first part of that question.

 

Top 3 grumbles of today’s teachers

In my book, 45 Secrets That All High School Teachers Need to Know, I outlined dynamic and practical  ways in which every educator can address problems associated with paperwork, parents, students and colleagues. In my research for that book, and my subsequent investigations since, I’ve determined the top 3 teacher grumbles to be:

 

  1. Paperwork: “There’s too much pen-pushing and not enough time to do real teaching”, “How the hell am I supposed to prepare my lessons properly when I have to do all of this ridiculous paperwork” and “All of this red-tape is just an exercise in jumping-through hoops” are expressions I’ve heard time and time again over the past 11 years of my career. It is true that the demands of school inspectors, parents, governing bodies and exam boards have placed an increased demand for accountability squarely on the shoulders of teachers over the past decade, and this accountability is usually expressed as more forms for both teachers and senior management to fill in, as well as more documentation to prepare. However, doesn’t this documentation revolve around things that help the students? Planning documents, for example, are great for letting you see the long-term goals of the course being taught, and keep you on track on a weekly basis. 

  2. Students: “He just doesn’t listen” or the infantile, pathetic “They just can’t…..” are phrases I have heard on an almost constant basis since I started teaching. The expectation to differentiate content to a variety of abilities, culture-backgrounds, motivations and maturities has also increased in the teaching profession over the past decade. This places more work in the hands of the teacher in the form of extra planning and preparation time needed to deliver effective content. This issue still, unfortunately, causes lots of resentment and frustration among educators. Let me tell you very bluntly – teacher’s who say “He/she/they can’t” are almost always wrong. I’ve had the fortunate experience of turning around kids who were simply ‘written off’ by other teachers, just by using the rapport-building strategies outlined in my book.

  3. Parents: I’ve heard them all in my time as a teacher. From the “She’s just mad” to “People like him shouldn’t be allowed to have kids”. Staffroom banter on this subject can be unnecessarily cruel and biased towards the teacher who has the issues with the parent, and many teachers often reciprocate in this fashion out of plain sympathy for their colleagues. This can lead to a dangerous climate of negativity around the issue, which is often disproportionate. In my book, I explain how you should see every parent as a valuable customer, who you can work with productively to make things work for your students. 

 

Why we should stop complaining – always and forever!

 

#1: Complaining about anything acts like a “crap magnet” in your life

 

I was recently very fortunate to receive a signed copy of T. Harv Eker’s Secrets of The Millionaire Mind (ISBN 978006133645-4). In that book, the author very eloquently and directly outlines the devastating effects that complaining has in our lives on daily basis. The following extract really woke me up, and I hope it will do the same for you! 

 

Complaining is the absolute worst possible thing you could do for your health or your wealth. The worst! Why?

I’m a big believer in the universal law that states “What you focus on expands.” When you are complaining, what are you focusing on, what’s right with your life or what’s wrong with it? You are obviously focusing on what’s wrong with it, and since what you focus on expands, you’ll keep getting more of what’s wrong.

Many teachers in the personal development field talk about the Law of Attraction. It states that “like attracts like,” meaning that when you are complaining, you are actually attracting “crap” into your life.

Wealth principle: When you are complaining, you become a living, breathing “crap magnet.”

Have you ever noticed that complainers usually have a tough life? It seems that everything that could go wrong does go wrong for them. They say “Of course I complain – look how crappy my life is.” And now you know better, you can explain to them, “No, it’s because you complain that your life is so crappy. Shut up…and don’t stand near me!”

Which brings us to another point. You have to make darn sure not to put yourself in the proximity of complainers. If you absolutely have to be nearby, make sure you bring a steel umbrella or the crap meant for them will get to you too!

#2 Complaining goes hand-in-hand with gossip. Gossip will kill your job and your career. 

Here are some extracts from my book which make it clear why gossip is destroying so many teacher’s careers, all over the world: 

 

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Summary

Remove complaining and gossiping from your life, and watch the success and happiness flow in! 

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Half – Term Blues: From Stressed to Best! 

 
An article by Richard James Rogers

10th October 2016
A new academic year begins and you’ve been on full-throttle since day one! New students, new systems, new courses; maybe even a new school! Wherever you’re teaching, I hope that you’ve settled in well to yet another school year. 

How has it gone so far? 

Millions of teachers around the world begin this first semester with oodles of confidence and exitement: vowing to do more marking, be more inspirational, get more grade A’s and be more organized than they were last year. Alternatively, If this is your first year in teaching, then you might be hoping to cope well with the demands of the profession and survive this initiation period. 

My viewpoint has always been that ‘less is more’. Instead of doing more of this, or being more of that, I believe we should focus on the simple things we can cut down on to increase our effectiveness and efficiency. This includes:

  • Being less tired in the morning: a good breakfast, an early start and a morning workout with a relaxing morning routine, maybe involving reading and prayer, are great ways to solve this issue 
  • Wasting less time doing pointless things: assigning every Saturday morning to lesson planning, for instance, reduces time-wasted the following week making day-by-day decisions on what to prepare and when. Assigning a personal schedule for the collection and setting of homework for each class; searching for and modifying online resources to suit your needs (instead of building from scratch); using peer and self-assessment (to save marking time) and creating a step-by-step action plan that runs on an hour-by-hour basis are all great ways to make your time more productive. 
  • Being less autocratic and dictatorial in class and incorporating a wider variety of activities for our learners. The builds rapport, improves behaviour management and puts the hard work in the hands of the students – after all, they are the ones who should be working hard, not you! 

So if you’re halfway through and feeling exhausted, then seek to cut out the unnecessary actions that are wasting your time and causing stress in your working life. 

My book, ’45 Secrets That All High School Teachers Need to Know’ (which had just been rated 9.5 out of 10 by UKEdChat), goes into great detail about all of the above points, with lots of practical ideas and case studies to help you be the best you can be. 

Till next time: happy time-trimming!