The Christmas and holiday season is usually one of the first times in the school year where the stress of the year thus far is readily apparent on teachers' countenances in classrooms. They become sick (I have already been sicker this fall than I have been in years!), lose enthusiasm, focus on the negative, and get into survival mode until winter break. Our students, on the other hand, seem to become less cooperative, more challenging, and less able to focus on our lessons and instructional activities. A huge recipe for a disaster? Quite. Impossible to change for the better? I think not.
It is IMPERATIVE that every teacher takes time out of this busy, crazy, insane season for him or herself.
Not just sometimes but every day. We need to indulge in what really gives us joy each day; for me, those things are teaching, singing, running, enjoying good health, taking care of myself, and spending quality time with my family and friends. If one of these things is not a part of my life, I find myself suffering, physically and mentally.
A recent article in the ASCD newsletter confirms these findings and beliefs in a big way. Read for yourself to see further why it is so crucial that we put ourselves first, rather than last, on our list of daily priorities:
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends
It gives a lovely light!
—Edna St. Vincent Millay