Good morning colleagues! Welcome back to the 2018-2019 school year! I still can't believe that I've been back in school for seven days (and have been reporting since July 27th). I feel like there's so much to talk about, but so little time to do so! So my focus for this week is expectations for you in your job.
I started thinking about expectations sometime last week as I was preparing for the first (of three) iPad parent night. As I was putting everything together, I realized that some of the tasks were completed by someone else last year. I haven't heard anything from this teacher, and it was too last minute to ask for help. I chatted with my principal and said, "Is this now my job?" She said, "I think it is now, yes."
I was STRESSED. This wasn't something that I was prepared for, but, knowing it was a non-negotiable item, I knew it had to be done by me. Did I get it put together? Yes. Did I do a good job? Of course because I have really high expectations for myself. I also know that having high expectations for myself leads to burn out.
Have you ever met a teacher that is really, really burned-out? Like they do everything but utterly despise their job? That was me a few years ago. I felt like there was an expectation that I must do a, b, and c. Later, I realized, I was putting that pressure on myself. There were no expectations placed on me. I've had to recognize that I am my own worst critic, I am often a perfectionist, and I set unnecessary stress on myself.
Since identifying those behaviors, I've met with teachers to talk to them about their stresses and behaviors. I tell teachers that they need to decide what is integral to their job and their classroom and that they need to rank the importance. What is non-negotiable? What do you WANT but know you need more time? What is extra that you can look at later in the year?
Giving others the same advice, I realized that I should make my own non-negotiables for my classroom and my job. Basically, I'm setting goals for myself for the school year.
So I would ask you to ponder these questions... Are you putting a lot of pressure on yourself? Do you find yourself spending too much time at school or doing school work at home? Have you figured out what is most important so that you complete that first?
If not... why not?
Thanks for reading! I'll see you in two weeks (I'll be in New York City next weekend!) :)
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