Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Something to Look Forward To

Sometimes we get to this point in the year (and many other points too) and we look around and realize that Spring Break is over, and while there are only two months left, there is not a break in sight and we're going to be doing a mad crazy dash til the bitter end. It is at these times where we might to start to lose steam or give up hope. It is at these times especially that we need to find ways to rejuvenate ourselves so that we can make the most of the time we have left with our current group of students.

During my first year teaching, I adopted a little mind trick to help me take long chunks of time with no breaks in stride. The premise is simple: always have something to look forward to. I would say, reward yourself, but immediately people feel that it is cheesy and they won't do it. Also, if you've ever been to a weight watchers meeting you would learn that our society is prone to rewarding itself with food (Happy Graduation! Let's go eat. Happy Birthday! Let's go eat. Awww, you broke up with your significant other? Let's go eat to numb the pain. Etc.) and what I'm suggesting will not have you weighing 800 pounds by the time the year is through.

This might only work for the new teachers out there, or serve as a pick-me-up to the older ones, but it hasn't lost it's luster for me yet. I'll give you an example: Over the weekend I was starting to get disheartened by the long months coming up so I called a couple of friends and scheduled a trip to go see a concert on a Friday night two weeks from now. For me, live music is something that always pumps me up and gives me an energy boost. For you, you'll have to find something that does something similar. Now, instead of worrying about 2 months, I only have to make it a week and a half before my goal is attainable. I do this throughout the year at different times and I find that I am able to immediately redirect my attention to something exciting in the much more immediate future that just Summer or Winter break.

Maybe other people don't need to trick themselves. Maybe other people are so happy with their jobs every day that they just can't relate to this "burn out" that I'm referring to. But more likely, teachers out there are counting the days until Summer Break (while simultaneously being sad to see their kids move on, I'm sure), and all I can do is share what works for me and hope that if you're losing energy, you might give it a try. After all, who doesn't love... a pair of new shoes when you get your next paycheck? Martini night with friends on a Thursday? Sky diving over the weekend?

P.S. On a completely unrelated note that I just don't think I could write a whole post about (well, I probably could, but nobody really needs that), my students were chosen twice this week by both the gym teacher AND the music teacher as the class that they had their principal observations with. I've decided to take this as a good sign. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment