I think the hardest thing for teachers to do is to find balance.
As a new teacher, I wanted to do all things perfectly all of the time. I didn’t want to know that it was impossible. If veteran teachers told me to slow down and not expect perfection, I just felt that maybe they weren’t doing it right or they would be able to achieve this. I was going to be the new perfect super teacher.
But now I look back and think about what my definition of a perfect super teacher was then. My definition of it now is very different. I believe I expected the impossible but wasn’t going to listen to anyone who told me that I couldn’t achieve it. Maybe that is a good thing but maybe it isn’t.
I was lucky enough to find some balance along the way that kept me enthusiastic about my career. Over the years I have seen many young teachers burn out and crash along the way. I wonder what I did differently that kept me from being one of the statistics.
Here are some of my thoughts on this. They are in no particular order other than how they popped into my head.
1. I found a support system of colleagues, friends not in education, and family.
2. My family was my biggest supporters because they attended school functions without complaint.
3. I found hobbies outside of my job.
4. I took time for lunch every day.
5. I found time at home not to work on school work.
6. I looked for the good in all of my students and in my colleagues.
7. I didn’t do the minimum expected but tried to anticipate my administrators’ needs. This kept me from getting behind on things when asked.
8. I called my students’ parents to brag about their child every two weeks. This kept behavior problems to a minimum so I could enjoy teaching.
9. I asked for student input on upcoming activities and feedback about lessons. Then I tried to address the feedback so they know I valued their opinions. When they have an emotional interest in the upcoming activities, they participated better.
10. I asked for help when I needed it. I didn’t see that asking for help was a weakness. I thought it was important that I recognized when I needed help rather than hiding it and having situations get worse.
Have you found balance in your life? What did you do to achieve this? Please share.