For teachers, patience is more than a virtue, it is a necessity for the job. Like most people, teachers will have pet peeves and annoyances, probably more so than in most career choices. People that are impatient can be seen as insensitive, arrogant, and hard to approach. They may also appear disinterested and have bad tempers. These are not the types of personalities teachers would want to project when dealing with children, parents, and even colleagues. Calmer, more relaxed people are easier to approach and are more likely to be trusted. Below are a few tips on how teachers can develop patience.
How Teachers Can Develop Patience
1. Make a list.
When you find yourself feeling impatient, note down what it is that caused it. This will help you note how often you are impatient as well as figure out the cause. Do you find that there are other symptoms such as thirst or hunger? These feelings can also cause impatience. If you are more impatient with a particular student or class period, try to determine the root cause. Address concerns with individual students one-on-one. If the class period is at a difficult time, such as the end of the day, determine how you can add in a pleasurable experience that will cause you to look forward to that class rather than dread it. If you can’t figure out what the cause is, speak to other people when you experience the feeling. You can overcome your impatience easier when you know what triggers it.
2. Slow down.
When you find yourself wanting to rush through everything you do, this can cause impatience. Take a break, stand up and stretch, take a few deep breaths, calm down and take things a little slower. Vary the way in which you are doing the lesson, activity, or task. This may help ease the impatience.
3. Change your mindset.
Examine the causes of your impatience and figure out why these things make you impatient. Examine the reaction and what consequence there would be, if any, for taking things a bit slower. Can you ameliorate the situation by rescheduling a meeting or a call?
4. Relax your body.
Practice mindfulness. You may find that you tense your muscles and even develop a headache when impatient. Take slow, deep breaths, and do a 10 count in and out (in through the nose, out through the mouth). Concentrate on relaxing your muscles from your toes, right through all your muscles, and right up to your head.
5. Manage your emotions.
If you identify when you are impatient, you can also then choose how to react in trigger situations. You are in control of your emotions and you can choose not to be impatient. Behave in a calmer manner, move a little slower, and speak less abruptly as you gain control. This way, you will appear patient even while you are getting a grip on the feeling and calming yourself down.
6. Listen to others.
Being impatient does not really help situations generally and often just causes anger and upset. Lashing out when impatient usually just makes the situation worse, as people function less productively when upset or stressed. Learn to listen to other people and find a solution together. You can also think clearer while listening actively and will be able to give a clearer and more measured response. You can also take anger management lessons if you find impatience makes you react in anger.
7. Do something relaxing.
Blow off some steam by doing something you love. Hobbies such as cooking, reading, drawing, painting, and so forth take your mind off your day and help you relax. Being more relaxed also helps your deal better with impatience. To learn all about Vicarious Trauma and how you can take care of yourself when working with students who have experienced trauma, view our webinar series on Supporting Students of Trauma.
The real answer to how teachers can develop patience is by learning to accept that things change daily and not everything will go your way all the time. Develop coping skills and above all, practice, practice, practice.
INcompassing Education provides on-site, off-site, and online professional development for teachers. Check out our new webinar series, “Supporting Mental Health in Schools” and “Supporting Students of Trauma.” Upgrade your knowledge and skills as a teacher and earn credits for your continuing education. To learn more, like our Facebook page, INcompassing Education LLC, or send a message through our contact page.