I've read a lot of posts on FB about classroom management issues during the last quarter of the year, or for some of you, always. It happens--the day you don't want it to happen. You're late to work, your husband is home with the flu, the babysitter cancelled...and on it goes. Teachers are real people too and when we walk through the doors of our schools we're expected to be "perfect", accepting, loving, kind, generous, calm, energetic, organized, intelligent, capable people.
Sometimes the pressure can overwhelm new teachers or some of us who may have taught for a while, when presented with job changes-like traveling to 2 schools or more, or job cuts, or budget cuts. Overall, we teachers, day after day, "Put on our Happy Faces" and greet kids with as much of the above mentioned character traits we can muster--pushing aside our personal cares for 8-10 hours a day to fulfill the needs of others. As I was a stay at home mom for many years, I've experienced both sides of the coin-the parent and the teacher. Teaching is different than being a parent-but just as emotionally draining and sometimes more so. So here are a few things that I try to remember during this "crazy" time of year.
1-Smile--even if you don't feel like it. When you smile you are saying to yourself; "I am happy I'm here".
2- Be grateful for 1 thing every day. I find that saying "I am grateful for music in our schools, or these new keyboards, or I have a job I love," helps me keep the negative thoughts in check.
3-Seek out someone who needs a hug or a smile or a compliment. Cheering others helps us keep positive.
4-Reward yourself for getting through a tough week. What brings you joy? A treat? A movie? Time alone? Give it to yourself-demand it! Right now I'm planning my summer vacation. It's my "carrot" to get through this tough time of year.
5-Take care of your emotional, physical and mental needs. You can't fix everything--in fact, the only thing you can try to fix is yourself. I do 15-30 minutes of Yoga every morning and I work out 5-6 days a week after work. I love to exercise, but more importantly, I feel so much better afterwards. And--get your rest. Find something you like to do and do it!
Remember, there was a reason you chose to teach. What was it?
I ask myself too sometimes, what I'd rather do? Uh, teach? So here's my little poster for my music teacher friends. You can download the jpeg and pdf here:
Chin up-we're on the downhill run.