Saturday, January 10, 2015

Teacher Survival Guide

Brr! It's super cold where I live here in the arctic Tundra of South Texas (teehee). I promise - it's definitely hot chocolate and blanket weather. 

It's time to stay inside, cuddle up with my laptop and do some blogging with a few of my favorite music teacher bloggers - it's a linky party!

I would love to tell you that I have it all figured out - but I don't. ;-) So instead I'm going to share some things that I'll be trying this semester. Maybe you'll want to try some of them with me. Maybe not. (you won't hurt my feelings!)

If you follow my personal Facebook, you saw that I recently posted an article about 17 small changes you can make that make a huge difference in your life. Now, I'm not going to list all 17 - you can read them for yourself here - but I do want to pinpoint 3 of her ideas that I think I can start in January. And hopefully they will change my year! 

3. Go outside during the day: How many times in the past did I go to work before the sun came up and leave after it went down? Now I have windows in my classroom(!) so I get a little sunlight during the day. Imagine if you could take a short time to do a mental reset, breathe fresh air, use your large muscles, get a dose of vitamin D and treat your eyes to a little green. 

I feel like I don't have ANY time for a "reset" during the day, but in reality I get more done when I take a few minutes to center my thoughts after Kindergarten than I do by checking my email for the 19th time before getting down to lesson plans. Even if I just open my blinds for a few minutes during lunch or planning, I think that will be a nice change of pace.

And remember that your students need that, too. I read on Facebook today about one of my friends that took her class outside (bundled up!) in the frigid weather just so they could let loose some energy, use their big muscles and see the sunshine that came out briefly. They only stayed outside for 10 minutes, but I bet their minds and hearts were much more ready to learn after that!

2. Figure out tomorrow's "To-Do" list before you leave today: I love this! I think it would be helpful to have an idea of what's coming up before I leave for the day. Some days this is automatic (hello program season), but I want to make it happen daily.

I usually have on-going to-do lists (post its, notes on the calendar page, notepads, marker on my bathroom mirror) but maybe I can assign a day and a time to a few tasks - maybe 3 tasks I think I can get done in the morning between cafeteria duty and the first class arriving. (Umm, #1 Bathroom break. #2 Scrub breakfast off my hands. Hehehe)

Maybe that will help my mornings be a little less frantic. :-) And we could all use a little less frantic.

1. Make a Bucket List: I spend so much time thinking of the day to day details, the nitty-gritty, that sometimes I forget to come up for a breath of air. Part of that "purposeful pause" is to let my brain relax and part of that is to let my heart dream. I want to have more going on in my life than my job. I want to have space in my brain and my heart to allow God to move me in certain directions.

I was reading this article and I decided that a Bucket List is a nice way to organize my dreaming. What might I do if I had no boundaries? Where might I go? Who might I become? I might even make a Pinterest board for it! Who knows?

Yes, of course, some of my dreams will include professional and classroom "wishes" - but I don't want that to be the whole of me. Maybe a gardening ambition or two? Books I want to read? Blog posts to write, TpT milestones to plan for, family traditions to start. Balance would be nice.

This isn't just about keeping my head above water and avoiding burnout (which is obviously a good idea), it's about living life to the full.

I would love to hear from you! Do you have a bucket list? What do you do to survive the winter blues?


  1. Thanks so much for linking up!! Living in Michigan, I need to be reminded that fresh air is good for me, even if only for 1 minute!! :)

  2. Oh, if only I had windows! But yes, great point about going outside. I also love the idea of doing a to do list at the end of the day for the next day. I sometimes do that but should make more of an effort! Thanks! :)