With a week until the first day of school, I find myself with poor sleep, a knot in between my shoulder blades and worry lines between my eyebrows. How can I find myself feeling stressed already? Quite easily when the school is a disaster, unfinished construction that will not be completed by the first day of school, disgruntled staff for whom I don’t have answers, and a hugely growing population and no more room in the building for growth. The frustration of so many things beyond my control is what is causing the stress, I can only manage my reaction to these things.
I need to keep in mind that it is not my responsibility to be everything to everybody. Adults should be able to problem-solve–I should not solve every problem. It creates stress when I find myself reacting to the words and actions of others. I need to keep in mind that I only have control over my own actions, and that unless it’s a medical emergency (and really, how often do those actually happen?), it’s okay to not react immediately. I am in control of my own emotions and actions, it’s my job to manage them appropriately, even in the heat of the moment.
My board has identified staff wellness as a priority this year. I am happy, because well adults are much better able to service the needs of students. And make for a much happier culture and school climate. We all need to care for each other–and that includes me caring about staff, and staff reciprocating.
I sincerely wish all educators a smooth transition back to school. We are in this together, and our passion for educating children is what makes us keep coming back, year after year.