Yeah, I know. You see articles with these kind of names all the time. But really, I have one simple tip for you this school year that will make you healthier; it’s even proven by science. What is it? Forgiveness. (Don’t believe me, read it for yourself on John Hopkins Medicine’s site or Google it to find many other articles.) Forgiveness has a healing power both physically and mentally for those who are willing to truly forgive others. Pretty awesome, right?
I believe in forgiveness being important and as a teacher, being quick to forgive is a must. I use to always tell my students that whatever problem we had today in class were forgiven and forgotten every day. I made it clear that tomorrow was a new day with a blank slate. I never wanted one of my students coming in on edge or reactive because they thought I was still upset with them for acting out the day before. It made my students and myself feel better knowing there were no grudges being held over them.
This can be hard. I’ve seen many teachers struggle with it over the years, but the teachers who couldn’t forgive often had the hardest time with students with behavior issues. I know students can be mean and hurtful at times, but remember that they are still young and still learning. You should be a role model and set an example for students on how to forgive.
Now this doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be consequences for actions, but the consequences should be given after the action and then you should move on. Also, consequences shouldn’t be given bitterly or in revenge, but seen as the result of the decision made by the student. Don’t make consequences personal.
Practicing forgiveness isn’t just for your students. Forgive everyone including your colleagues, friends, family, partner and even yourself. If you want to be healthier, be willing to truly let things go. Make forgiveness a daily practice for big and small things so you can feel better and focus on the positive things in life.
If you need some help practicing forgiveness, here are few tips:
- Empathize with others. Try to understand other people’s actions and you may feel less hurt or upset. When you can relate to why a person did something, you can find it easier to forgive.
- Remember that we are all human. Realizing that you’ve also hurt other people and wanted forgiveness will help to remind you is important. We are all human and make mistakes that need forgiven.
- Remember what is good about this person. Everyone has good in them. Focus on that instead of the bad.
- Let go of expectations. Don’t expect an apology and be okay with that. When you don’t expect something, you won’t feel upset or disappointed when it doesn’t happen. This also goes for others actions. We are often hurt when people don’t live up to our expectations, but you can’t control others actions. You can control how much they effect you.
- Make a choice to forgive. Once you’ve done this, make sure your actions and mindset reflect true forgiveness. Don’t secretly hold on to a grudge; it’ll hurt you.