The Teacher Break Blues

The Teacher Break Blues

So, you’re going back to school after winter break. And…you feel a little depressed, maybe anxious.

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Let me tell you a story: last Thursday anxiety started, I started thinking about everything I had to do to get back on track. We had two snow days before winter break so we were seriously behind. Then, I found out that my administrator was coming in to watch us on our days back! AHHH! I panicked, I cried, my husband had to calm me down. Then I took deep breaths and really focused in on the reality of the situation. What did I really need to accomplish and what was just the stress of responsibility coming back.

Here are some quick tips to use at any point in the break.

  • Take your whole break.
  • Make a running to do list on your “notes app” or reminder app. You can also set reminders for the day you want to remember to do this…priorities people!
  • Remember not everything will get done as soon as you get back, just focus on the days you have to get through when you come back.
  • Enjoy and relax. If it helps you to relax to get a few little things done in prep. Do them! 🙂

I am going to bed early tonight at getting ready for my first day back!

Curbing perfectionism

Are you a perfectionist? Do you want everything to be right the first time? Do you get angry or frustrated at yourself when a lesson or project doesn’t go as you anticipated? Well…STOP! I know, I know, it’s not that easy.  Being a perfectionist is the perfect blend of compulsion and anxiety.  It isn’t something that you can fix overnight.  However, it is a big ‘ol waste of time.

You see…you are in a profession that deals with people. You will teach lessons that suck. Sometimes your administrator will come in when you are trying to tame the circus.  A school tour may happen as your students are silently reading. Forgive yourself, and move on.  If others don’t forgive you, well, hold your chin up high and move on.

What becomes the most important part of teaching is learning to be kind to yourself. There are so many people out there waiting to catch you in a mistake. However, being real allows everyone to give you grace.  Apologize when you make a mistake and move on.

What strategies can you use help the process? Start working with good enough. Build layers of complexity to your lessons, rather than razzle dazzling every detail.  Focus on the areas that have the most return on investment. For instance, if your administrator is focused on reading this year, use your energy on that. Everything else will have to be “good enough”.  Pick 1-3 things that you are going to ROCK this year, and let certain subjects be good.

You are amazingly imperfect. It’s ok to be ok with it.

Self-Care

Self care is a funny thing.  Everyone says to do it, but it always takes too much time.

who has two thumbs and no time for self care_this girl.

Take a bubble bath, they said. No time!  Eat well and exercise they tell you! I barely have time to eat breakfast most days.  I’m affectionately labeled Hot Mess Express in my house. I come crashing out of the house with one shoe on, a handful of random items, and mysteriously missing the one thing I went back in the house to find.

*Sigh*

So, I need something kind of simple. Here’s my busy teacher’s guide to self care:

  1. Give yourself 10 minutes at your desk in the morning to breathe, drink your coffee and set your intention.
  2. After you brush your teeth, get cozy in bed and read one page in your book (NOT ABOUT TEACHING…I’m watching you…)
  3. Give yourself permission to eat what you need to keep going during September-December. I’m not saying eat a tub of lard per night…but the truth is, you likely don’t have time for family cooked meals every night. If you really want to be a hero, get tapped into Hello Fresh.  (Yes, that’s what I use, and if you click my code, I may or may not get free stuff.)
  4. Be kind to yourself, and stop taking things personally. I call this my wall. Most everything someone says to you is about THEM, not you. So, get curious about people’s motivations, and put up an imaginary wall when you are talking to difficult people. Then reflect on them later.
  5. Exercise, but you said I didn’t have time, you’re right. You probably don’t have time to train for a marathon, or do that 60 minute turbo workout.  What you do have time to do? Walk the dog, take a quick brisk walk after work, do a 15-20 minute HIIT workout on your tv. This is for the endorphins, which help you stay positive, relieve stress, and keep you sane.  This isn’t about weight loss people, this is about SANITY!

The biggest issue with teaching (and also parenting, but that’s another post altogether), is that we are taking care of people all day.  Self-care for busy teachers is just about taking a moment to just be kind to yourself, and not expect perfection.

Also, it’s fine to be the Hot Mess Express sometimes, I mean, I do it every day!

Hey You!

I’m so excited that you are here. This page is the gateway to my journey as a teacher and an entrepreneur. In hindsight, I’ve always been both – with a degree in both Business and Education, I’ve helped launch, build and teach in about 6 education programs over the last 9 years.

My journey started in Early Childhood Education and culminated in earning a Masters Degree in Teaching. Soon after, I started a school from the ground up. I learned a great deal about business, myself and being a teacher while helping with all the details of launching a program. I’ve found out, though, that I just hadn’t found my niche and I found myself more burned out than ever.  I felt like I just couldn’t find the right place for me in teaching. I realized that if the path wasn’t there for me, I had to make my own path – this is it, right here.

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Join me on this journey by first downloading my authentic teaching guide.