Education :: Take Time for Yourself

This school year has started off extremely rough. This school year is following an even worse school year last year. If you’re anything like me, you might be a perfectionist. During my years of teaching in the classroom, I learned pretty quickly that if I wanted to get everything done (and not just done, but done right) then I needed to work twice as many hours in a week to get things set.

I think this is something that many educators have in common. We want our students to succeed and will do anything in our power to make sure that happens!

Stop.

Breathe.

And don’t tell me ‘no’!

Stop.

Breathe.

Teaching takes so much energy, emotion, and mental acuity in the best of times. And, my friend, these are far from the best of times… If you are constantly racing forward without pausing – if you feel like you can’t pause or you’ll fail your students – you are doing no one any good! The more you push yourself without taking a break, the more likely you will be to come crashing down.

When you’re driving down a mountain, there are two things drivers need to do to keep from crashing and to keep from overheating brakes. In an automatic vehicle, you slowly pulse your brakes to stay slow without riding your brakes the entire way down. In a manual vehicle, the smartest choice is to down shift, which will keep your vehicle moving slowly and steadily without you needing to ride the brakes.

In your vehicle, if you don’t slow down when driving down a mountain you will crash at the bottom.

The same thing happens to us. If we refuse to slow down and take a break, we will quickly run out of energy and crash. It isn’t just us who gets hurt when we crash: our students are affected as much as we are when we reach the end of our energy. The teacher they have grown to trust and love has now left them in the care of a stranger and they don’t understand.

So once more, I urge you…

Stop.

Breathe.

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