it’s that time of year. The holiday season is over, back to the grind, standardized tests are looming. In my previous years of teaching I have seem stress levels increase and was able to provide some stress relief. This year, with state testing looming large a few months from now, my stress level has gone up a lot. Throw into the mix that a few visits to my classroom (which I welcome) and some big time illnesses spreading around my household and that makes for a week to remember. With all that said, I had to remind myself of a few things and cling to the things I know to be true in my classroom to pull me through.
- Confide in someone. For me this was easy, my wife is always my sounding board for stressors in my life. This week however, she was sick and that took its toll on my mental health. I tried to confide in her without overwhelming her sick condition with my stress. At the end of the week, when all was well in my house, I took the opportunity to really confide in my wife and that cures a lot of stress. She provided me with perspective and reason that gets lost in the shuffle sometimes.
- Know that you’re doing the right thing in your classroom. This presupposes that your doing the right thing in the classroom. I took some time this past week to reexamine some choices I’ve made for my classroom this year. While I can immediately list some things I would like to change next year, I also see the track that is leading to achievement in my classroom. I also have a plan for preparing for what is to come in my classroom. Just reiterating the plans for my classroom reminded the little voice inside my head that yes, we are on the right track.
- Take some alone time. I really enjoy time to sit and think without the need for conversation. That being said, I also have a toddler and a pregnant wife who like to talk with me. I had to be very intentional to get away from people and spend some time thinking about things that don’t revolve around my classroom. It was very therapeutic for me.
I know that these stresses are managed not done away with, but my weekend has included all of the following. I have refueled my confidence and I’m ready to reenter the fray of public education. Thank goodness for a weekend of recentering myself!