Finding purpose in a demanding job





If you are reading this, i assume that like me you are struggling to find purpose for a job as-demanding-as mine.

Teaching is said to be one of the noblest professions in the world, rubbing shoulders only with lifesavers in the medical line.

This is because a teacher is largely responsible for how a person turns out in life. Teachers are entrusted with children and they not only educate these kids, they also influence them in various aspects.

Therefore, the teacher acts not just as an educator, they also put on the cloak of parents, guidance counsellor, role models and mentors to these kids.

The role of a teacher is of tremendous importance because they coach children during their formative years; they are responsible for these students 5 days a week for no less than 7 hours a day.

This large amount of time spent together ensures that their role in society is quite influential as they help to shape the life of a young one.


September marks the beginning of a new school year and the end of a fun and adventurous summer holiday.

Students are not the only ones not looking forward to school resumption, even teachers are sometimes reluctant to get back in the classroom.

The school bells, new faces, rowdy students and chaotic first week can be too much for even teachers.

This tasking job can sometimes have a negative effect on the teacher, both mentally and physically and a teacher may look for ways to let off some steam.

The following tips can help a teacher relax, find renewed purpose and energize the mind and body during a stressful school session.

  • New session, new you: First on our list of keys to finding purpose in a demanding job is for you to understand that there is Nothing as cool as a fresh start, so clean out that office desk and supply closet and make things easier for yourself.

A clean space spurs one on, time to throw out those broken pencils, dried up markers, old jot notes and make way for new ones.

Getting things organized makes it easy to locate supplies without sifting through a drawer full of junk, thereby saving time and energy.

  • A schedule defends from chaos and whim: Get organised! Getting organized is another key to note if you are struggling to find purpose in a demanding job. Teachers should itemize only important plans on a schedule, not their entire day/week and decide the time to be allotted to each.

This should not only be a work list, but should also include plans about your private life which may include family, extracurricular activities and hobbies; as these should be among ones priorities.

This will help you decide which is more beneficial between getting a massage, going out with family or preparing class activities for your students.

  • A hungry man is an angry man: Having a healthy meal is one way to calm the body.

Skipping meals can be frustrating on the body as a rumbling belly doesn’t exactly help one concentrate.

By eating and staying hydrated, the body is refreshed and the teacher is able to focus on other important things like educating the students without feeling tired and cranky.

  • If something is not a YEAH!, then it’s a no!: Saying no to seemingly harmless tasks like teaching an arts and craft class or not being part of an organizing committee for an event might seem difficult (especially if asked by a superior), but can be beneficial in the long run.

By refusing to partake in these activities, a teacher can avoid stress as he/she does not have to worry about juggling workload and these activities.

You can politely decline the request and give an honest reason such as having too much on your plate.

  • No man is an island: Delegate as much work to your students as you can.

Not only will this free you from doing those tasks, it will also improve student morale as they will have a sense of responsibility and duty.

You can plan for students to do group works that requires minimal supervision from you.

By collaborating, they can learn from one another and share conclusions with you, instead of the step-by-step process.

This reduces the weight on your shoulders, boosts students self-esteem and enhances their collaborative skills.

  • Take a step back: Remember, you are a pro at your job and love what you do.

Learning and remembering the new names and faces at the beginning of the school session might seem like a herculean task; and dealing with their various personalities can be mentally draining, coupled with making modifications to lesson notes or preparing new notes all together.

However, remember that within a few weeks you will be all caught up and student-teacher relationships will flow naturally. So avoid stressing over nothing and take each day as it comes.

As important as these tips are, there’s no greater way to finding purpose in a demanding job than having a mantra that reminds you why you chose and love your job.

You can go one step further by writing it down and sticking it to your desk, but more importantly, always carry it in your heart.


Article written by Ajibade Adebanke,


Posted On: 11 September, 2018