Here in New Jersey a new year begins this week. With it, a new set of excitement and hope fills both students and teachers in most classrooms. That excitement and hope could easily be destroyed by the overwhelming pressures and stresses that teachers face every day.
This year, in my district, we have not been able to work in our classrooms at all over the summer because of construction. While it is frustrating, it is also part of doing major construction projects on a school, time and pressure become a big deal. When many teachers return tomorrow, they will return to a serious mess. They will be asked to do a tremendous amount in a small amount of time. Essentially, the stress levels will be at an all time high!
I will not pretend that I know anything about work / life balance. Your balance is a personal thing that allows you to be everything you need to be in both your home and your workplace. Instead, I will put it this way:
Stress can be helpful, or it can be paralyzing. Depending on your response to the stress and how you deal with it, it can either push you through toward your goal, or it can freeze you in time. As not just new, but ALL teachers begin the year, there is a tremendous amount of work involved in making the beginning of the year successful. Instead of allowing stress to stop you or complaining about your stress, channel it. Listen to music, make jokes, SMILE because one way or another, you have a lot to do. You always will. So start singing along to your favorite song and get to it. Meet your stresses head on and tackle them one at a time.