Setting Priorities in the New Year

Comments 2 Standard

After a long hiatus from posting any blogs, I have returned with my feelings, thoughts, and words.  This school year brought a lot of changes with a new administration, set of new students with different needs, and the necessity to spend more time with family.  I chose to place priority on the important things of life this school year, and that is so important to being an effective teacher.

Burn out is so common among teachers, especially teachers who are so dedicated and committed to reflecting upon their instruction and making it better.  Time is spent researching strategies, planning effective lessons, organizing necessary materials, and loving on each student.  We are the first ones to arrive at school and the last ones to drive away from the parking lot.  Sometimes, our weekends are spent in our classroom.  You know who you are…you are the teacher who cares so much, and you feel like if you aren’t committed with your time, then you must not be as effective or care so much.

But what happens to this kind of teacher?  They burn out.  They lose that energy that makes the classroom “come alive.”  Therefore, it’s so important for us to set our priorities in a way that doesn’t produce a “fizzle.”  As teachers, it’s so important to:

  •  Put family first.  Our family is our primary responsibility, and if we expect our students’ parents to put their kids first, then we must do the same.  We, as parents, are the primary teachers of our own children.
  • Make time for yourself.  Research continually demonstrates that rest and relaxation is important.  Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep.  Trust me…as a parent of three kids, I know this is so hard!!  However, even if it’s for an hour, do something for YOU!  The laundry can wait, and the papers really don’t have to be graded that day.
  • Learn how to delegate.  Use your parent volunteers.  Giving up control is hard, but your parents really want to feel a part of the school community.  Use them to file papers, cut out lamination, make copies, or even work with students.  You would be surprised how much students can learn from other adults.
  • Most importantly, know that caring is sometimes enough.  We put too much stress on ourselves as teachers.  At the end of the day, your student is going to remember you for whether or not you showed that you cared about them.  They might not remember the most fabulous technology lesson, exciting field trip, or phenomenal activity.  However, they will always remember if you demonstrated compassion and love towards them.

May all my teacher peeps have a wonderful 2016 school year.  May each of you take the time to set priorities this year in order to be a more effective teacher.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do.