We are back at it. My husband works year round is as always perplexed with the idea of closure and ramping up again. That is just part of our professional rhythm. With the new start, comes new faces, goals, and systems. Our only constant in education is change. We recognize change is imminent because of this rhythm.
Change is exciting and brings growth and opportunity. It also can cause anxiety and stress. What if you created a “High Five” list that helped you get through the year? Let’s take a look at some suggestions:
- Invest in you as a learner. Check out this book:
“We have to realize that in a world filled with data, when facts and figures flow as freely as water, when even cars are driving themselves, we have to be able to acquire new forms of expertise quickly and effectively,” he writes. “Learning to learn is what experts call the “ultimate survival tool,” one of the most important talents of the modern era, the skill that precedes all other skills. Because once you know how to learn, you can learn almost anything, and as a society, we need much richer forms of education, where information and knowledge work to foster the problem-solving skills that ultimately matter.”
- With that – Fill your cup: When I was in college, I asked my teacher how she liked teaching our drawing class. She said she loved it, but was left empty of ideas for her own work because of giving, giving, giving to her students. In education, we often give so much that we are left as empty vessels. Find one topic you are passionate about and be a learner. This may be through YouTube – subscribe to a channel that can teach you about a passion of yours. My current favorite is the TED channel because I learn about so many different topics and people. Follow a favorite uplifting blog and/or find a podcast to listen to on your way to work. This can keep you going throughout the year and fill your vessel.
- Connect, connect, connect. The human race innately has a need to belong. Foster that need by reaching out to those who are around you for support. Positive face-to-face connection can offer new ideas and comfort during your day. Enhance your connection by building your Professional Learning Network. Online platforms such as Twitter, Google + Communities, and Facebook offer multiple ways to get involved with groups of interest. Try a Twitter Chat and connect with educators who have similar interests and goals. Really-try it, you will like it!
- Check out the 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club: Angela Watson is a teacher who felt her life heavy on the teacher prep side and too light on the personal side. She started this support club to help teachers work more efficiently to trim off some of the late hours teachers put in.
- Tune up your sense of humor! I have a new director and his first presentation was full of funny memes and video clips. He also brought in an improv group who had us belly rolling. This was one of the best starts of the year, not only because of the endorphin release but of the common experience we could share among the now and veteran staff. Try out improv in the classroom. Add funny video clips to your presentations. It will lift you and your students!
Keep you “High Five” posted to remind yourself to take care of you so you can take care of others!