We've returned to school after spring break and found ourselves knee deep in the busiest time of year. We're in the final quarter, heading into state standardized testing, and racing to finish curriculum. Teaching is hard, we've talked about that before. But it is also incredibly rewarding so we need to take moments to find joy and to remind ourselves and our colleagues, that we do in fact love this work. This week's Take5 is all about helping us all find ways to bring joy and happiness into our classrooms for our students and into our own lives.
Lately, I've felt the stress creep in. Looking at the calendar, the timing is about right. School is in full swing, the breaks are few and far between (no fall break for my school district), the work is piling up. Oh, and the gloss of "this is all new and shiny!" is wearing off. Kids are getting tired. Their work is getting harder. You get the idea and if you are a teacher, you know what I mean because you are living it. That's not to say I don't love my job. I do -- I love it to the tips of my little dressy flats --, but if you pour your soul into this job the way the work demands, it's stressful. It just is. So as teachers, we have to not only constantly work to create the best lesson and to build lasting relationships with our students, but also to keep stress in check so that we can be our best selves -- the selves our students need. So this week, I've taken a deep look at mindfulness as a way to combat the stress both in my own life, but also in the lives of my students. Here's what I discovered along the way.
We're in the midst of summer and I've been thinking about how to ensure I am ready to jump into the new school year refreshed and full of energy to bring out the best in myself and my students. I love summer for the time it offers me with my own children, for its slower pace, for spending long days out in the sunshine. I also like that in the education profession, summer gives us a reset. This week's Take5 focuses on ways teachers can use summer to its fullest.
I am going to lay it all out on the table. I am failing big, at work life balance. The irony is that I consider myself a champion of work life balance. I am always talking about how to achieve it (I gave a talk to +1500 plus teachers this summer touching on this very topic), but the truth is I am having a hard time taking my own advice. Thanks to my mother, I watched too much Oprah as a child. I remember an episode where Oprah talked about how life sends you messages and it will send them subtly and then eventually if you don't get it, life will start screaming at you until it gets your attention. Well, this weekend, my child handing me this amazing piece of art. Yes, that's me, staring at a computer, ignoring her because I was, you guessed it, working. So universe, consider yourself heard. I am from this moment forward going to recalibrate my life. At least I am going to try and I am going to start by heeding my own advice. If you are a teacher (or heck, a working parent) looking to do the same, read on.
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