WE LOVE KIDS. We love making a positive difference in the future of students. We love feeling like our job matters and that the work is worth it in the long run. We radiate absolute joy when our students show growth and success.
WE FEEL STRESSED. Like…all…the…time. Stressed about the tasks that have to be done. About the thousands of decisions and interactions that we make every single day. Because we are taking on the stress from our students in order to help their lives. From decisions others make that affects our daily routines.
So how do we keep from getting bogged down? How do we not let the stress take over our lives? This post is for those teachers and administrators that are doing AWESOME things for kids and feel like they can’t also have a life of their own. YES, YOU CAN! YES, YOU SHOULD! YOU DESERVE IT!
SIMPLIFY & PRIORITIZE. There are many options, ideas, and strategies out there for our students. In fact, there are so many that you will never use them all. Guess what? That’s OK! Students don’t need a thousand strategies, they need a few that will help them be successful. Stay on point with what really matters. Focus your energy on learning the curriculum and the conceptual understanding behind the standards. The better you understand how students learn, the faster it will be to find and choose the best lessons during the planning process. If you are getting stressed out, consider how long it takes to plan and what you are focusing on during your planning.
DO THE ACTIVITIES WITH YOUR STUDENTS. We spend all this time on planning these amazing activities and lessons. Then when we actually put them in place, we sit at our desks or do other tasks like checking email while they work. Join in with your students instead! The best memories come from working directly with students. Teachers, sit with your students. Administrators, get in those classrooms. If you are getting stressed out, sit with your students at a desk, pick up a crayon, and get to work!
TAKE BACK THE CLASSROOM! Don’t let your classroom run you, make sure you run your classroom! The tasks, the organization, the student management, the administrators, the emails… Find ways to manage your time and energy. Know that you will be successful and what needs to get done, will get done. If you are getting stressed, remember the Serenity Prayer.
“God grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change, the COURAGE to change the things I can, and the WISDOM to know the difference.”
FIND THE POSITIVES. When you look for positive things around you, you tend to see more of them! I you can’t find any positive actions, whose fault is that? This one strategy has made the single biggest impact in my career. The best group of students is who you have right now. The best colleagues and staff are those in your building right now. Don’t wish for something ‘better.’ Lean on each other and have fun with your students and teammates every day. If you are getting stressed, celebrate each other, the magic that is happening every day, and it will make a positive change in your life.
I’m not going to pretend like we can eliminate stress or that the increasing amount of tasks aren’t overwhelming. The attack of stress and anxiety can be out of our control, but HOW WE HANDLE IT IS TOTALLY UP TO US!
It’s not about the OBLIGATIONS that we have, but the OPPORTUNITIES that are laid out before us. And if you need help, just connect with me. I got your back. You’re doing a great job! You got this!