Over the years, there’s a pattern that I feel like I’ve seen emerge.
It usually starts right around spring break. It happens every year.
That time of the year where stuff that wouldn’t bother you in August grates on your nerves in March. You know…when admin asks you to take on one. more. responsibility. When students do things that they should know not to do. When co-workers should get it…get you… and they don’t. When parents expect more from you because they are not able to do what needs to be done themselves.
Spring should be a time of renewal and joy, often times, when you are a teacher…it’s actually more like the countdown to the end.
Most days’ you’re looking forward to Friday, or the fact that there are only X amount of Monday’s left. That last stretch of school is a grind. It’s tough. Any little thing seems to push you over the edge and the stress that you ‘thought’ you were managing becomes completely overwhelming. It’s a tsunami and all you want to do is get to the end.
I get it.
I really do.
Here’s the thing though.
I don’t want to live in that space. I am sure that you don’t either.
So, here is what I’m proposing, to help us all get through it a little easier.
1.) Switch up your response times.
If you’re usually quick to respond to things, take a beat before you send that email or respond to that colleague. Remember that when it’s silly season, the temptation to lose your cookies is high! Maybe you will still give the same response if you wait for a bit…but at least you’ll know that you thought it through enough not to be reactionary. If you’re usually more thoughtful, step up and share your thinking. You may be in a position to share something with others that will help them find a way to find better balance! Your voice is necessary in silly season for sure! You bring back sanity! 🙂
2.) Find your own happy.
Life is too short to be miserable. You need to do what you need to do to bring back your own sanity. What ever that looks like…you do. If that means that you don’t bring a school bag home on the weekends…do it. If that means that you bask in your Sunday nights a bit longer…do it. If that means that you let yourself take a mental health day just to stay home and sleep…do it. You know what I do sometimes? You’re going to think I’m ridiculous, but…here goes.
I play music in my room and dance like no one is watching! 🙂
No one has caught me yet, to my knowledge…but…if I get to school a few minutes early and I dance while I straighten, it improves my mood. If I play music at the end of the day, I clean quicker. I’m serious!
So, my jam for this Silly Season has been Meghan Trainor’s Better When I’m Dancin.
3.) Don’t make big decisions during Silly Season.
It is tempting to throw out the baby with the bathwater during this time of the year. Tempting to give up on certain relationships, on parents, difficult students. It’s tempting to write more referrals and give fewer pep talks. It’s tempting to make a decision that this is your last year on that grade level…at that school…in this profession. That is not to say that those decisions don’t need to be made, but making them under the pressure of the end of the year may not be best. There is so much stress for so many of us at this time. Make sure that whatever decisions you’re making have been after a great deal of thought and not just in the heat of the moment.
4.) Remember its just a season.
This too shall pass.
As my Granny would say…’Nothin’ lasts forever’!
You will get to the end, and some how…some way…you’ll take a summer away and find yourself peeking at Pinterest for next year. You’ll meet colleagues for coffee and talk about what you’d like to do next year. You’ll run into students from previous years and smile thinking of the time you spent with them. You’ll come back in the fall and you’ll be ready to do this all over again. You always do.
You’re a teacher.
It’s part of your DNA.
They don’t come tougher than we do folks.
You’ve got this.
Don’t just survive.
Find a way to thrive.
And then…dance your way into summer, baby!