Thursday 29 September 2016

Reducing The Stress Of Teaching

Phew! I finally made it here today! I had to practically abandon and tear myself off all things school work. I have got a lot of things to blog about and I even did a couple of posts- in my mind(LOL). It's usually like that when school/work resumes, I find it hard to leave my first love-teaching. Thanks to the dear readers who checked up on me via email to find out what's up with me, you are a great source of motivation and I value you totally. Thank you for hanging in here. So, from this day forward, I do solemnly swear that I will try to put up at least one post per week. And hey, I am starting a new and hot blogging series this weekend so if you are interested in setting up a teaching blog you want to stay tuned to this page or better still, you want to follow by email so you never miss a post.  

It's just one week and three days into the new school year, who's been counting? Meeeeeeeee! Somebody just rolled their eyes at the word JUST because it feels like forever.  A lot of teachers are tired and are looking for a way out already! I can bet that so many teachers are crossing off each day and looking forward to the half-term break. It's alright, you are not alone.

If you have never known stress, you probably have never been in the teaching profession. Not many people know stress like teachers do. You see, teaching requires a lot of heart so you can never be impersonal about it.  There is so much to stress about- the plenty things to do and not enough time to get it done; the pressure of management on you to perform your magic by all means to raise the grade level of every single child in your class; behaviour problems and nonchalant parents; not to forget the anxiety faced in ensuring that you hand over the kids back to their parents at the close of school, not just in one piece as you received them but better in character and in learning; add to that the load of your own personal problems that you have got to deal then you have a whole melting pot of stress! 

The good news is that you can totally have all of these in control. That stress is akin to teaching doesn't mean you should go through it. Do you often wonder how some teachers still manage to look crisp and all together at the end of school while you are looking like you are sucking lemons, your shirt tucked out, sweat marks around your armpit area and your hair flying all over the place? Wonder no more, the difference is that those teachers have successfully learnt to handle stress.

For me, this is how I keep stress at bay: 

  • I do-it-afraid! I take my tasks on head-long and I go through the day with the tenacity of a bulldog after meditating and speaking affirmations. A copy of my affirmations can be grabbed here. 
  • I usually have a to-do-list and check things off as I go along and I try not to waste too much time on one task. I also do not kill myself if I am not able to achieve all that I set out to achieve as long as I have achieved the most important tasks I move left-over tasks. 
  • I do a lot of multi-tasking, though I find myself wondering if this is OK as I usually have to do a lot of things at the same time and sometimes the jobs are done but not as perfect as I'd have loved them to be. 
  • I take some 5 minutes to laugh and play, I stop to share a joke or two with a colleague and I never carry my problems on my shoulders.  Yes, I do have my fair share of issues but can you tell? 
  • I look in the mirror whenever I get the chance to visit the restroom and perk up my appearance. A dash of powder here, some lipgloss there...
  • Recently, I started eating breakfast and it has helped me to keep my fuse burning much longer. I also have a bottle of my favourite drink around me to keep me going. 
  • I try to organise my stuff in a way that I know exactly where to look when I need something so I don't drive myself crazy. 

One habit I am trying to cultivate is catching enough sleep, especially on weekends and this will definitely impact on my caffeine boost. I also hope to start drinking more water and arriving at school earlier on some days so I can have some extra minutes to plan and set my day in motion. On the whole, I may not be where I want to be but I have a growth mindset so I am ever learning and evolving. 

How do you keep stress under control? Care to share, please drop a note in the comment section.

Stay stress-free!


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