How many times have you been in the presence of others and considered, “If I could just bottle that energy.” Raising two wild and crazy boys, the thought crosses my mind quite frequently. When chatting with a friend about this post today, she mentioned Monsters Inc. and how they were able to bottle the screams….what if we could do that with energy? Maybe Disney was onto something.
Other than a somewhat addiction to to coffee, I do not have a way to “bottle” energy, but there are a few things that I try to do and keep in mind when running the educator marathon.
BE HONEST: If you are feeling drained, there is a good chance your students are too. Vibes are contagious……good and bad. Talk to your students about your feelings and brainstorm a list of how to infuse more energetic learning into your classroom. Students are our own personal interest experts. Getting them on your side can make tough days much easier to muster. Remember, RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS, RELATIONSHIPS…….
FIND A MENTOR : A mentor is good to have, but I have gathered what is considered a dream team……these folks whether in my twitter world or professional and personal friendships are the ones that I look up to, learn from, and use as a true north challenge. Having someone to bounce ideas off of and give your constructive criticism is humbling and important. These conversations bring ideas and ideas bring excitement and energy. Your mentor doesn’t have to be your boss, it can be someone you aspire to be like one day. Encouragement works with students and adults. We all need it.
DON’T TAKE YOURSELF TOO SERIOUSLY: I read once, “The moment you think you have arrived, think again.” Find time to be silly and fun. Let your students see you let loose a little. One of my favorite jobs this school year was monitoring the gigantic inflatable slide during a school wide fun day. To greet kids at the top or encourage kids to overcome their fears to slide down was nice…..but taking a turn myself to free fall down the slide was so relieving. I’m not a yeller. I’m also not a Broadway singer……..but when I notice that I want to yell……I sing directions to students……making up the word as I go. It takes me down a notch, grabs their attention…….and brings out a few smiles. No one is perfect. Don’t expect perfection out of you or your students. High expectations are okay, but you will just disappoint yourself time and time again if you require perfection.
BUBBLE OF GREATNESS: Just like mentors, a bubble of friends that will love you no matter what is good to have. A friend that has seen you at your best as well as a good ugly cry is a treasure. I can call my grandmother in the mountains and within a minute or two……she has wiped all of my worries away. My husband knows when to bring home a few extra carbs. My kids combined with a board game, puzzle, or Lego time really clears the mind.
GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT: Just like food……you are what you eat. We are what we consume. If you are consuming all of the ingredients for greatness, something good is going to come of it. Let positive people, positive thoughts, and good reading into your mind. Do not let negative people and thoughts set up real estate into your mind. By doing this, your habits will change for the good. You will become the person that searches for the silver lining rather than the Eeyore expecting the rain.
SELF CARE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS TAKING CARE OF OTHERS: Now, read that last all caps sentence again…..one more time. Exhaustion is part of being passionate about your profession. I get it. You can only work on fumes for so long. You can’t water plants with an empty pitcher. Self care looks different for everyone. For me, it is finding quiet time every few days. It also looks like a dinner out once a week with my family. During nice weather, it is a five minute session sitting in my front porch swing. If you find yourself unhappy more than not, you may need to reach out to someone for help. There is no shame. Sometimes a hard look in the mirror and career change up may be in order. Everything has a season. One more thing……put the soda down and grab a bottle of water. It will help provide more oxygen to your brain to have more clarity.
There is nothing revolutionary in this post……just a few reminders of what it takes to make it. Adulting is tough, teaching is tough…..but it is not meant to suck the life out of you. Life is just too short folks.
What can you change in your life to have more energy?
What do you do to be more child like?