• Teacher Tips

5 Tips For When You Feel Undervalued

Updated: Oct 26, 2020

If you've got to this page, you are probably ready for a brew. So grab a cuppa and have a couple of minutes to read and refresh your mind.

We all get that feeling of being undervalued at some point or another. We think we are on the right track, supporting someone or making the right decision about something...and it goes unnoticed or is criticised. In the world of teaching there are many day to day opportunities that arise where we perhaps think that we have done something well and you don’t feel that it has been valued by others. The truth is... you must give yourself your own pat on the back. I personally believe that teachers should give each other praise and recognition as there are so many stakeholders to get it right for, but the person who should be flying your flag first is you. Here are some of my suggestions you could possibly take to help overcome the feeling of being undervalued.


Suggestion 1: Write it down.

Get it off your chest and out of your head. I believe there is a strong connection between the hand, pen and paper. By writing down your feelings you are transferring them...just as if you were talking to someone else. A problem shared is a problem halved remember. Try writing down the things you have done that you feel are worth recognition and what has happened to make your feel down about it. Treat yourself to a lovely journal where you can share your thoughts and feelings about the day and make sure you include your daily celebratory moments. The person who understands you most is you. So write to yourself. Give it a try daily. It takes practise and commitment but even writing one sentence a day is better than no sentences. Reflect on the person you are and what really does matter to you...because you will find that recognition for yourself from yourself is the most powerful recognition you can get.


Suggestion 2: Self-love

Have you heard of the app - “Calm”? It has been voted one of Apple's best apps of the year (2018). You need to subscribe to get a premium package but you can use the breathing technique to calm yourself, as well as accessing a number of free guided meditation activities and stories. Use this app for just 5 minutes of me-time. You deserve it. You are bound to feel so refreshed. It shouldn’t be seen as a treat - it should be used as part of your daily diet of good mental health.


Suggestion 3: SUMO!

Just Shut Up and Move On! Seriously, sometimes we need to give Negativity a kick out of the door. It’s hard, and it’ll want to keep coming back, possibly with a vengeance, but practise ignoring those negative unhelpful thoughts and focus on something that makes you smile. If you’re in that zone wishing someone would notice your efforts or thank you, and it’s making you upset or angry because it's not happening...then it’s time to SUMO. Tough love guys.

You can find out more from Paul McGee “The Sumo Guy” by exploring his website - www.thesumoguy.com. Here, you can buy assembly packs for your schools where children are encouraged to take responsibility for their own choices, explore their potential and understand how to recover from setbacks through a set of thought provoking PowerPoints. I’ve not seen the slideshows yet myself, but I was lucky enough to see Paul McGee at an EYFS conference at the Last Drop Village a few years ago. I was so motivated and inspired by his talk. I remembered that whilst Hippo Time is OK (wallowing in your own self pity basically!), I’m in control of my own life and I decide how my future pans out. So if I was to want something, I need to SUMO and go for it.


Suggestion 4: Recognise someone else

It's a two way street. The saying goes that whatever you put out to the world you will get back. Spread a little cheer and happiness and reap the rewards. If you feel down in the dumps, cheer yourself up by lending a hand to someone who might need it. This could be a friend, a colleague, a parent going through a tough time, or you could do something for the community and sign up to volunteer at the local charity shop for a few weeks. You certainly won’t feel undervalued when you see the impact you can have on someone else’s life. Make someone else feel special. Make them feel valued and don’t take them for granted. I don’t think anyone ever purposely chooses to take someone for granted, but what I mean is don’t forget them. Whilst you might be seeking approval from someone, they could be wanting your attention and to feel valued by you.


Suggestion 5: Treat yourself

Go on. Do it. There are times when a little sweet treat or retail therapy hits the spot. So long as it puts a smile back on your face and gets you back on track for a great day, go for it. It may be all you need!

This post was originally posted on Laura Ellen Blog on 15th January 2019

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