My last mylearn365 blog post was about committing time this summer to exercise and take care of myself.We all have different reasons for doing this. Some people exercise to lose weight or build muscle. Some people exercise to prepare for an upcoming athletic season. For me, it’s the upcoming school year that has me gearing up.
I think sometimes in the media, our work in schools as teachers and administrators is sometimes misunderstood. Too many times our work is defined by those on the outside by weekends off, holidays, summer vacations, and a supposed 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. day.
I am taking care of myself because I know the truth about working in schools. To me there is no work more fulfilling where you have not only a chance everyday to make a positive impact on the lives of others, but to change a life forever. This work challenges one emotionally, mentally, and physically. While I don’t often feel “stressed” at school, it is only because stress levels are so elevated most of the time, I don’t even notice. It’s only after a week or two off that I realize I’ve been in a chronic state of stress.
The teachers I know start well before 8:30 a.m. and stay well after 2:30 p.m. They love their students. They buy many of their own supplies. They use their own time to assess and plan. They take it personally when a child doesn’t do well and continually look for ways to reach students. And quite often, I see teachers come to school, day after day, worn down, but persevering because they don’t want to let their kids down.
Today, I think about the many friends and colleagues who pay a dear price every year – their own health and well-being – to make sure the important work in schools continues. I urge everyone to take care of themselves and find the balance in life that is so needed. If we can do this, we will all be better able to take on the upcoming challenges of a new school year.