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Spreading joy in your classroom can sometimes feel like a losing battle.

On those days when kids act up, assignments fall well below standards, and your classroom supplies seem to disappear magically, joy is the last thing on your mind.

However, actively trying to spread happiness can sometimes make these days feel much less stressful and dispiriting. No matter how wound up or upset you are, taking simple steps to spark some joy within yourself and, by extension, your classroom can work wonders in the long run. Indeed, joyful habits are the key to long-term work satisfaction and your student’s academic success.

For those wondering how to transform their classrooms into happier environments, we’ve put together a few tips to get you started. While these actions may feel unnatural initially, try to persevere. The results will be well worth the effort you put in!

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1. Set aside a few hours to think about things other than work

Setting aside a few school-free hours is essential to maintain a clear and healthy mind. Rather than stress out about the coming days ahead, try to relax and use your spare time to pursue hobbies. You could, for example:

  • Take to the kitchen and bake a cake.
  • Go on a long, head-clearing jog.
  • Do something creative such as painting or writing.
  • Watch a film.

Doing something you love will take your mind off the pressures of your job and will help you return to school feeling energized and refreshed. If you need a little help finding hours in the week to pursue your hobbies, take a look at this great article on achieving a healthy work-life balance.

2. Focus on your wardrobe

Wearing clothes that make you feel good can have a lasting impact on your overall well-being at work. Your appearance at work may feel like a minor issue, but you may be surprised at how a little extra color or a sharply tailored suit will transform your ability to spread happiness and joy in the classroom. You may even earn yourself a reputation as the school’s resident fashionista! For tips on dressing professionally and stylishly, this article may offer a few helpful words of wisdom.

3. Remember that you are making a difference

It is easy to forget that teaching can have a lasting positive impact on young people’s lives. Remind yourself of your past successes as a teacher if you feel a little down. Perhaps you helped a student learn a new skill or guided a student through a difficult time. Whatever you choose to focus on, remember to invoke these memories when the going gets tough.

4. Focus on creating a welcoming learning environment

Setting a friendly atmosphere in the classroom is key to keeping the spirits of both you and your students high. Remember to praise students regularly, encourage them to cooperate, and even chant positive classroom mottos to nurture a culture of cohesion and happiness. If your classroom looks a little drab and dull, don’t hesitate to brighten it with colorful posters or student artwork. You could even obtain a new class pet if administrators allow it.

5. Help colleagues out and try to be positive at all times

Sometimes, faking positivity and joy can make you feel genuinely happy. To embody happiness and kindness at school, try helping out colleagues at every opportunity and doing your best to support all students and staff.