Awareness Week

Dark Evil Vortex of Late September, October, and November

What is it?!

So I stumbled across an incredible blog post that finally gave a name to the slump we all experience in education around this time of year. The author coined the phrase DEVOLSON, which stands for Dark Evil Vortex of Late September, October, and November. Can I get an AMEN?!

After searching the web further, I found another blog that had created several AWESOME staff activities to help cope with this time of year. I've set up a DEVOLSON display in the Sweeny Cafe in hopes that we can all power through the next week and a half, while maintaining our sanity! :) Here's the link to the original article. I highly recommend reading it!

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5 ways to cope with DEVLOSON:

**This information is copied directly from the original article.**

  1. CYOC: Create your own catharsis. I'm a big fan of bottling up my emotions until I reach a breaking point and have a meltdown, and DEVOLSON tends to make me do this constantly. But instead of giving DEVOLSON the steering wheel to the car that is my life, I like to take things into my own hands by making a safe, compartmentalized emotional catharsis part of my schedule. I've found that the movie Stepmom, the finale song from the Les Miserables movie soundtrack, and YouTube videos of soldiers reuniting with their family members or dogs all do the trick every time. Oh, and about eight chapters in the book Wonder can make me cry effortlessly.
  2. Take up a nondestructive hobby. I know that it sounds like the last thing you'd want to do during DEVOLSON is find something that takes up more time, but it works in this inexplicably weird, backwards way to distract you from the chaos at school. Some nondestructive hobbies for you to consider: Join a nontraditional sports team. Many cities now have leagues for kickball and whiffle ball, neither of which require X-TREME athleticism and are usually full of fun people who will distract you from your misery; Learn a new skill. Cook, spin pottery, repair a car, attack another human's pressure points, speak Old Norse, whatever. You learn something and have a new party trick! Read some of those books that have piled up on your nightstand but you haven't gotten to yet. Make your way down the list of Academy Award winners for Best Picture on Netflix. This is how my mom and I discovered Katharine Hepburn, our latest lady crush. Some destructive hobbies you should try to avoid: Eating an entire tray of Oreos in one sitting; Marathon sessions of online shopping; Watching two seasons of Secret Princes in one weekend.
  3. Have your students write thank-you notes to a fellow teacher or school worker one day. This never fails to put me in an awesome mood. Sometimes I have an actual reason for it, like thanking people who have donated classroom materials or partnered with us for a project, but other times I have them do it just to practice gratitude. It's so sweet to watch their earnest enthusiasm about thanking people that my heart almost explodes.
  4. Get your coworkers in on DEVOLSON. Make each other DEVOLSON greeting cards or bracelets. Have competitions. You could even make DEVOLSON Bingo cards with the following squares: Locked self out of classroom. Locked self out of car. Called spouse or friend the name of a student or coworker. Laughed self to tears at something that's not really that funny. Walked into a room and completely forgot why you went in there. Went to bed before 8:30 p.m. Ate microwave dinner or fast food more than 10 times in one week. Answered your home or cell phone and said what you say when you answer your class phone. Tried to use your house key to open your classroom or vice versa. Had a stress dream about school. Looked at your bank statement and honestly thought you'd been a victim of credit card fraud before realizing it was all the money you were spending on school supplies.
  5. Make a note of one good thing that happens every day. This was a suggestion from one of the wisest ladies I know back during my first year when things had gotten really, really bad. Even on the worst days, something good happens. Watch for it!

Here's wishing you the happiest DEVOLSON possible. When it gets tough out there, just know that: 1) you're not alone, and 2) what you're doing is making a difference, even if you can't quite see it yet.

And 3) you can't spell DEVOLSON without "love."

If you win DEVOLSON bingo, come see me.... you deserve a sonic drink! <3