Friday, November 22, 2013

Year 4: Week 12 - Stress

This week felt weird. It was like there was a too much stuff to do in too little time but somehow it all got done. There were a lot of issues that I was dealing with that really had nothing to do with the act of teaching but that is how the gig goes sometimes.

There aremany things that fills a teacher’s day. A lot of these things are part of what I do because of a level of involvement that I chose for myself in this community. I volunteered for the committees that I’m on. No one forced me to be a co-department chair and I actively seek out projects and performances to do with my students that often involve other teachers.

So why am I feeling stressed out about all of these things that I volunteered to do?

Eh, maybe it's because I’m an idiot. I don’t know.

Look, sometimes things just stack up in a certain way and they seem like they are overwhelming but they aren’t. I guess part of it is also the fact that I’m the kind of guy who over-worries about things but that’s part of what makes me good at my job.

If you work in a school you become part of a amazing dramatic production. Every day there’s a new plotline and other plots continue over long periods of time. We are having conversations about our schedule that is part of a long project and at the same time there’s the expected student behavior issues that must be addressed. It’s ongoing, it’s crazy but it’s all kind of fun if you take it with the right attitude.

Too bad, it wasn’t until today that I was able to get my brain into that space.

I enjoy the challenge and all of the issues. Well, I don’t enjoy the fact that they happen, because a lot of the time these things could be prevented or helped with better communication. The creative problem solving and the collaboration that these issues often require are some of the most enjoyable parts of the job.

Behind every email is a person who cares as much as I do about our kids and our community. All they are trying to do is make things works better for all of us. These emails are a reminder that people out there in my school really care.
One of the hardest parts of about not only my job but growing up is accepting the fact that there is never enough time. Every day I leave work with something left undone on my to do list. Every night before I go to bed I know there’s something else that I need to take care of around the house.

That’s life.

This is a very difficult thing to accept, but you’ve got to come to a level of peace with this fact or else you will go crazy because it’s never going to change. So what did I do that helped me chill out and realize this fact?

Instead of doing work, for half an hour I hung out with a group of my 6th graders while they ate lunch. It was a lot of fun but it used up time that I needed to spend on other things. But you know what? It was worth it. Sometimes the greatest stress relief, the splash of perspective you need to get over yourself is in the laughter and silliness of the children that you teach.

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