Tuesday, May 27, 2014
You've made it through another marathon of changing curriculum, new tools and programs, unpredictable challenges, and an exhausting job. But unlike most marathon runners who expend their last drops of energy to get across the finish line to celebrate their accomplishment, you're being pressured to make decisions and plans for your next race.
Where will you teach next year? What's your schedule going to be like? Which students will you have?
This is a very difficult time for many educators. Our routines are coming to an end, and the promise of next year's assignments feel unclear. The shift from predictability to uncertainty is shocking. How can we prepare for the next year while still reflecting on this one? Stress begins to seep in as the finish line approaches and instead of elation we feel deflated. Not a good way to start a summer vacation or break.
Technology, although a great tool for preparation and planning, might actually be a catalyst in this reaction. Some psychologist actually see technology as one source in our perception of time speeding up (see "How Technology Speeds Up Time" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/06/technology-time-perception_n_4378010.html).
All hope is not lost - you can use your devices and computers to plan without rushing the time away. Using a little proactive planning and positive thinking you can take advantage of technology to help you slow down the "race", set time aside for yourself in the future, and learn how to stay calm in the present.
As a teacher you know there's nothing worse than the SNBs (Sunday Night Blues). You've had a great weekend and want to relax with friends and family, but instead you're looking over your plans for next week and thinking of all the things you need to do first thing Monday morning. Fail! Get it all done on Friday before you leave school. Enjoy your weekend without worrying about work, and then return on Monday ready to go. Use that to-do list to work efficiently and get it all done.
Check out the app "buddhify2" for the iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Select your feelings and situation from a color wheel spectrum of emotions to hear a meditative guide walk you through how simple steps to relax, motivate, or even help you get to sleep.
If stress takes up a lot of your time, check out these other 10 Apps to help you relax - http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/10/02/10-apps-to-relax-your-body-and-mind/
Be mindful with your time. Preserve the empty spaces. Allow yourself the time to reflect, rejuvenate, and refresh. Even if you fill every second of every day with valuable teaching time, you're no good to your students burned out in the first few days of school.
And most importantly, enjoy the end of the school year.