Or, "Why nobody likes a tired, stressed, crabby teacher"
I am EXHAUSTED tonight. And, for the second night in a row, I'm skipping my workout. But I'm okay with that. Yesterday I just wasn't up to it after a rotten day at school (the only cure for which was Mad Men and falling asleep on the couch at 8:30...), and today I think I just need a mental health night after another long (but thankfully not rotten) day. Oh, and my IT band is HELLA TIGHT again--sweet. Sometimes I think skipping a run makes it tighter, but I'm hoping a night of foam rolling and icing will help!
It seems like I have a consistent trend of having just plain sucky Mondays at school. Yesterday was one of those, "And WHY am I a teacher again??" kind of days...the kind of day when I pause and think, "Is there any possible way that I can keep doing this job for the next 30 years?" Thankfully I don't have those days very often anymore. You guys, I love teaching. I love my students. But the pressure is ridiculous. I feel more this year than I ever have before that if my kids don't make their projected growth targets, it will be 100% my fault. It's just a lot to handle sometimes. Add a nutty group of kids on top of that pressure and it's easy to lose sight of what really matters (and lose my patience...). I should probably have taken a deep breath and read this sign that I have hanging by my desk a few times...
Adapted from Quantum Learning
Today was MUCH better. Before the bell rang I committed to giving the day ENERGY. I forced myself to let go of the stress and worries and frustrations and gave it all I had. The difference in my kids in comparison to the day before was ridiculous--in an awesome way. See, when things are breaking down in the classroom it's easy to blame it on those crazy kids, but some times it helps so much to look at your own actions and think, "What can I be doing differently?" The thing is, when I let the stress GET TO ME, I forget to enjoy teaching. When I don't enjoy teaching, my kiddos don't enjoy learning. And of course when my kiddos aren't enjoying learning, they check out. Give up. Quit. And inevitably find one million and one ways to derail my lesson. This is no good for anyone.
Maybe I need this sign hanging by my desk too!
But when I bring energy to my teaching? It's amazing what they can get excited about. A few of the kiddos were even talking about how interesting our nonfiction guided reading books about women's suffrage were. *love* Really, there's no question that it's worth it. So, here it is:
Consider this my personal commitment to being my best self every day at school until break (and beyond...). My students deserve it. They are worth it. That means that no matter how stressed and tired I am, I WILL be bringing a high level of energy to every single lesson--even the boring ones on fractions. :) WHO'S WITH ME??
After a successful day teaching, at 3:00 I found myself staring at....A PROJECT. I don't know about you, but I'll be in the middle of a task that actually needs to be completed when suddenly I have an overwhelming urge to clean out my closet, rearrange my furniture, or alphabetize my files...(go ahead and mock. I embraced this psycho part of my personality LONG ago!) This happens CONSTANTLY in my classroom! I've reorganized my cabinets and rearranged the furniture more times in the past 3 years than some teachers do in their whole careers. (Usually when I have stacks of grading or lessons to plan!) Anyways, I digress. Last year I shared the simple system I used to keep desk clutter at a minimum...
This worked GREAT for me last year, but to tell you the truth, this year it's done nothing but collect dust. Well, let me clarify that--I still dumped papers in the "to file" and "to grade" bins, but never emptied them. "To copy" papers were being stored in piles on my desk. Why? No clue. Consequently the "file" bin help math handouts and random literacy sheets from September that still needed to be filed. On a high from my high-energy day, I decided to tackle this project. Of course it evolved to a total reorganization and inevitably a big old mess in the process...
But hallelujah everything is in its place now. I can rest peacefully tonight. :) Don't know why I didn't think to take an after picture! After that project, spending far too long stressing over the formatting on a math test, and stopping at the library to pick up picture books for a literacy lesson, thoughts of running were far long gone, having been taken over by two clear thoughts: GET FOOD and GET OUT OF HEELS asap.
Sooo after that rambly post, I'm off to eat my effortless dinner, curl up on the couch, and enjoy some mindless Glee. Oh, and there might be some peppermint ice cream in my near future... (That is, of course, before I start digging into my leg with my foam roller... :)
Teachers: How do you keep a positive attitude and a smile on your face despite the incredible stress and pressure of the job?
Who's with me on my commitment to being my best self and bringing ENERGY to the classroom??