Degan Elementary Eagle Eye
Avengers: Age of Degan--No Excuses!
As I have been reflecting, I can truly say this has been one of the craziest months. I think the saying that "March comes in like a lion" has definitely held true for me and at times, I have felt like I was being eaten alive!
What makes me worry even more is the saying "When the principal gets a cold, the building sneezes." "Am I doing enough?" , "Did I handle that right?", "How do I win the war and not just a battle?", "How in the world do I find enough time?", "My sixteen-year-old is making me CRAZY!" , "I missed paying that bill?" Let's face it, whether you are "voicing" stress or not, others can sense it and then their levels of worry go up, wondering if they should feel worried, too. This increases my sense of urgency to get my own emotions in check. I don't want any of my stress to negatively impact you or your students. But man, worry is a difficult thing to control, especially when you can't really control the thing that was the origin of your worry in the first place.
I think students sense your worry/stress as well. When we have students coming from trauma where their fire trucks are always ready to come roaring out it complicates things even more. We all know it makes teaching an even bigger challenge to teach with fire trucks in the classroom! I think this fact alone makes it imperative for educators to have positive coping strategies to help us keep our stress in check while also helping our students understanding ways they can calm themselves. My biggest mistake is that I take for granted my low-stress times and don't practice the strategies that help with keeping emotions in check.
There is great research to support mindfulness and meditation and their ability to reduce stress and tension: http://greatergood.berkeley.edu/topic/mindfulness/definition
However, it is a challenge to "begin" when you are already uptight.
I have worked diligently this weekend to take care of my brain, practice breathing, and intentionally focus on letting go of the things I cannot control. Below is a great article about the benefits of teaching mindfulness to our students and even taking a minute to practice breathing and focus daily. I know mindfulness often has ties to religious origins, but I believe teaching students how to reflect on their own thoughts and physical state can be done without religious connotation. Teaching them these practices must also be done regularly, as trying to teach a young child who is already out of control just isn't going to work.
I hope the resources benefit you in letting go some of the stress and worry you may be feeling in your own life. If you decide to try some of these breathing/focusing exercises with your students, I would love to know how it goes. I'm just hoping that for myself, being more intentional in my own "mindfulness" helps "March go out like a lamb!"
Thank you for all you do! A day off work is in sight!
Week at a Glance
March 21st-Vanessa Coaching Call 3 pm
March 22nd-Degan SPED Matrix Training (Vanessa, Alex, Bill, Michael)
Chic-Fil-A Fundraiser Night
March 23rd- CZ Principal PLC/Kronos Training 8:30-3pm
Staff Meeting-Required STAAR Training
March 24th-Think College Thursday (jeans for those who donated to Together We Rise)
March 25th-No School
STAAR 5th Math/Reading and 4th Writing
Think College Thursday
End of 3rd 9 Weeks