Nobody knows tired like a teacher. (educator) It's called teacher tired for a reason. It manifests and magnifies itself in May.
Remember how you felt in August? Filled with freshness and joy? You had lists upon lists of all new activities and plans to engage your students as your year unfolded. You took great pride in setting up your home away from home to be welcoming and comfy. A classroom that beckoned come in, come in, you belong here.
Remember your excitement and anticipation as you eagerly awaited to greet and meet your students for the very first time?
Then tiny humans arrived. Mandates and meetings munched time. Students' needs begged for more and more attention each day. Your family expected dinner. (How dare they? Really, you want to meet their needs but you're tired of being tired. So, you order out.)
March madness turns to May madness. The good news is you see the end in sight far better than you did in February, but still...
This school year has been like no other. You quickly without even blinking set up a home classroom before being able to acknowledge your loss with students. There was no time to grieve. Only time to give your best to your students and help them through their grief. You've been stellar at pivoting and providing during a crisis without truly knowing how.
Yes, you've bought back time from long commutes, but you've gained hours upon hours of sitting in front of screens juggling Zoom meetings, Google Classroom, e-mails galore and more all while juggling your family. When you're at home, you can't mute your family. This scenario presents a tug-o-war with your emotions. I know.
The good part of this situation is most have some new found time when they're not juggling Zoom, students, and content creation. You've learned to slow down a bit. You've taken time to breathe. In fact, being kind to yourself is promoted like never before. You're encouraged to rest in place of stress and a crammed schedule. You've valued the extra time in your mornings to actually sip coffee and snuggle with your loved ones. (Even the furry ones.) You've loved beginning mornings unhurried.
At the end of your work day, you've even sneaked in a walk or read a book. Who would have thought?
So, even though May is a time for fatigue, many are embracing slowing down and caring for themselves. I want us to remember.
I want us to remember what this feels like. (The slowing down part.) I'm concerned we'll get amnesia.
Remember the tragic terrorists' attacks, 9-11? It was horrible but the outcome was beautiful. It was the most patriotic I've ever experienced our country. The American flag was flown proudly everywhere. People even had it plastered across their chests. We were a proud nation that stayed strong together. We were kinder, nicer, and more thankful. Then...
Covid-19 brings those memories to the forefront of my mind. I see a parallel which causes me to be afraid. Afraid we'll forget. Afraid we'll slip back into busy, busy zombies forgetting what it feels like to stop and literally smell the flowers and embrace our loved ones daily with intention. Forgetting what it feels like to have white space in our schedules to just be. Forgetting what it feels like to write, read, and enjoy simple pleasures like a nature walk. Forgetting what being fully rested feels like. Forgetting how we've come together. (Stronger together initiatives.) Forgetting our concern for others. Forgetting to check in on our neighbors. Forgetting what fear through this pandemic taught.
To help us remember and keep us physically, mentally, and emotionally on track, I've got some exciting news. (Hang with me to end to find out & receive a free gift.) :)
This blog post is the first of seven. Each week, we'll explore one of the letters in the word STRONG. (I know you're curious what they mean and how they apply to you.) So below is brief overview. Show up each week to learn more and see how each letter will help you remember and stay STRONG.
Let's get into it: 6 Ways to Stay STRONG
S- Stop and remember your WHY
T- Take Time to Thank
R-Rest and Revive
O- Omit negative
N- Never Give Up
G- Go Deeper
Because I care about you, I want you to remember the feelings of being refreshed, creative, and focused. I want you to continue to take care of you so you can take better care of them. This is going to help you be the best version of yourself ready to roll when school comes back.
It takes 30 days to establish a habit pattern. (It actually takes longer to solidify the habit, but we'll save that for another time.) So just for you, we're going to do a 30 day challenge to stay STRONG and help you re-enter school STRONG. (Whenever it re-opens.)
Here's how it works:
It's for you and like-minded educators. Connection for students is key but also for you. Educators need connections too. It's a community.
It's totally free.
Each week, I'll write a post reminding you to stay STRONG focusing on one of the letters in the word STRONG.
Share and cheer each other on by sharing your STRONG stories. Share a picture or some words each day of how you are staying STRONG for yourself, your family, and your students. What you do will inspire others to do it too. :)
Share this with a friend so they are connected too.
Have fun and belong to a community of STRONG educators. (#STRONGedu)
You are STRONG educators! We are stronger together. Come along. We want you with us.
Remember to share pictures on Instagram and Twitter telling us how you were STRONG for the day.
Looking forward to seeing you being STRONG and staying STRONG.
This is part 1 of a 7 part series.
Read the others here:
Part 4- STRONG Educators Rest & Revive
Part 5- STRONG Educators Omit Negative
Part 6- STRONG Educators Never Give UP
Part 7- STRONG Educators Go Deeper
You make a difference.
P.S. Sign up for tips by going to the home page and adding email to the "Inspire Me" box. Don't want email tips coming to your inbox. No problem.
Join the fun and community on Instagram and Twitter. Be sure to use #STRONGedu.
(Grab your free poster to put beside you and help you remember to stay STRONG.)