STAY IN THE MOMENT
It’s easy to get stressed about what comes next: those lesson plans for next week, the next conference I need to schedule, the next assignment I need to grade…
This year I want to stay in the moment professionally and personally. Be present with my students and meet them where they are. Be present with my family and friends and leave work at work. Add a little spontaneity to my life, because yes it’s a school night but I’ve taken care of myself and I feel good, so why not go on that long hike, enjoy some live music, or grab a fancy meal with my man?
ARRIVE EARLY, LEAVE ON TIME
I already have arriving early down pat, and I will continue to arrive early because I find that I am in a better head space and more prepared to teach when I’ve had a cup of coffee at my desk and am caught up on my inbox. The problem is, I don’t need or want to work 11 hour days, something that I grew accustomed to last year while working on National Board Certification. This year, I’m setting a goal to leave school promptly at 4 o’clock four out of five days a week. Staying late or taking work home doesn’t make teachers more productive; it makes us exhausted!
NO. JUST SAY NO!
This one is going to be a big helper for the others. I’m going to enthusiastically say YES to the things I love, like developing meaningful relationships with my students, planning engaging lessons, and facilitating student group trips abroad. I’m going to say YES to all the required aspects of my job. And, I’m going to think critically about all those little things that we think aren’t a big deal to add on, or we think they are necessary when they really aren’t, and I’m just going to say NO. Because those things add up, and come October I wonder how I got on 3 committees and am staying after school multiple times a week and going home exhausted when I could have just said NO.
I’m telling y’all, this one is a game changer. Last January I committed to clean eating for 30 days with the Whole30 program, and it transformed my mental and physical health so that I was ready for all the high-energy days that come with teaching high school Spanish, and still feeling like I had enough energy to appreciate my family and friends after work and on the weekends. I’m not suggesting others need to do a program like that in order to eat well, just that it was a turning point for me. Since that experience I know how to eat healthier and I know which foods help me feel my best. The impact that your physical health can have on your mental well being and happiness at work and home is astounding!