Well, we are in the countdown time at school…those weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas break.
They are weeks of expectation, of special programs, of paper chains, and of semester grades.
Lots to do. Lots to teach.
It is easy to get overwhelmed. It is also easy to get complacent…it’s the holidays, after all. Neither is a good idea.
These weeks are critical teaching time. We need every moment.
We also need to be at our best.
Lately, one colleague after another seems to have a health issue.
It is time to back up, slow down, and breathe.
Make a little space that says, “This is Christmas.” Maybe it’s an old holiday photo, a quotation, a card from last year perched on your desk.
Maybe it’s the cd you keep playing in the background, the perky poinsettia on the bookshelf, the jingle bells on the doorknob.
Take little moments to reflect. It’s good for you.
Take time to breathe, and give your students the same chance.
Breathe in, refocus, and settle in to reading/writing/math/poetry. Celebrate what you know and what you hope to learn.
Bring out the holiday poetry, the beautiful picture books.
Find a strand of lights and plug them in.
Set goals for yourself and help your students do the same.
Celebrate the gift of yourself by treating yourself well.
Bring healthy snacks.
Clear off your desk so you can focus when you get back there at the end of the day.
Throw away or give away five things every day.
Take at least a five minute walk during lunch.
Leave on time.
Remember that people matter, but most of the stress you might feel comes from paper, not people. Get rid of more.
Take care of you. Our days are limited. Your work is important, but you are more important. Take care of you.