For those of you on summer break, what have you been up to so far this summer? I have had a little break, as you know, but now I am back to work…at least the planning part of our job. My school is emphasizing planning over the summer, and understandably so. For this reason, this has been a week of intense planning for me. After a few days of hardcore planning like this, I feel very worn out. I don’t know how that goes for you, but it can get exhausting for me!
Or are you still in the let-last-year-fade-away phase of summer? It was a great year, or not so great, and you just need to let the memories slide away and relax a bit so that you can be ready for the next one. This is an important part of the summer. We can not carry all of the stress (good or bad) from last year into next year. A part of summer is to unwind so that you can get wound back up again. It is vital to your teaching heart to have a little time to let last year go! You have been emptied out and you need to fill back up!
To those teaching right now (especially the Southern Hemisphere-ers), how are things going for you? Are you still in the easier times of the year or is it the nose-to-the-grindstone time when the students are not as excited to be in school and you have a million things to do? Are you still pumped up and enthusiastic about all that you have to do? Or are you tired, beat up, and on the edge of burn out? Are you just somewhere on the roller coaster in between the too extremes?
Where ever you are in all of this, it is important to remember not to sweat the small stuff. Almost a month ago I posted about this and encouraged you to celebrate the small stuff. Today’s post is just a reminder to do just that! All of the little things that annoy us, wear us down, and beat us up little by little (including those held over from last year) can become a mountain that eventually falls and crushes us. We need to build a retaining wall against them…and we do that by celebrating all of those little things that are great every day, week, month, and year!
Another way to look at it is to think of the motivational poster I shared yesterday. As teachers, we really are a buoy in the water there to guide, protect, and lead our students to where they need to go. It can be lonely and hard as the “small stuff” comes in as waves and beat on us. The thing about buoys like the one in the poster, though, is that they are held in place by an anchor. Celebrating and remembering those little things that go well can be the anchor that holds us in place! The waves can come, but we know why we are there and why we became a teacher. To lead the way for a brighter future for our students!
Summer planning teacher:
- Celebrate what you have already finished!
- Throw a party for the work you will not have to do during the year because you did it now!
- Toast the great things that your students will be able to accomplish because you worked so hard to plan for them!
Summer relaxing teacher:
- Celebrate those small changes you saw in your students throughout the year, especially the more challenging students!
- Throw a party for the growth that you see in yourself as a teacher! You are an even better teacher than you were at this time last year!
- Toast the accomplishment of a year well done, no matter if it was your best year, your worst, or somewhere in between! Teacher, you made it and now you are on the other side!
Teacher in the throws of teaching:
- Celebrate those things that are going right! What is working well for you right now? Those are awesome! Celebrate them!
- Throw a party for those students that are truly connecting to what you are teaching! This is why you do what you do! Have a 10 second party for these kids once in a while!
- Toast the things that you have been able to notice that are not working and you have changed to teach your students better! How have you monitored and adjusted to improve student learning? Here’s to those things! Cheers!
Teacher, celebrate! Dig that anchor in deep and the sweaty small stuff won’t affect you as much! The celebrations are important. You need them. Don’t forget to celebrate a little something every day!