No, no ... not for Christmas (despite what giant retail stores would like you to think). It's the season for teacher stress.
Every year, around week four or five or six, teachers start freaking out. We get overwhelmed with the new campus/district wide initiatives we're supposed to be implementing in our classrooms. We're struggling to get all of our students assessed. We're trying to get ready for parent/teacher conferences. We're still dealing with classroom management stuff. We're spending lots of time planning quality lessons. We're TIRED.
And in the midst of all of that, I crave peace and quiet so I can reflect on my year so far - what's working and what's not? What can I tweak to make things run more smoothly? It's this reflection time that gets lost in the shuffle when there are more important things to worry about.
If you're so overwhelmed that you can't remember your own name, I have some advice for you. Make a list of every single thing that's stressing you out in your classroom, as well as all the pressing things you need to get done. Then rewrite your list in order of priority: which items have deadlines? Which items directly impact student learning? Then tackle one at a time. The list will at least alleviate your need to keep it track of it all in your head.
Also? Go home early. Go to bed early. Take a weekend off from anything teacher related. A well rested teacher is a happy teacher. A happy teacher is an effective teacher!
Tell me ... how do you deal with stress?
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