This January, I think I have one main goal: to make a much more clear definition between school time and home/family time. I have found one disadvantage to being an "empty nester" besides missing my kids. Because I no longer have little ones depending on me at home and my husband is great at being flexible, my time spent at school has gradually lengthened until it is really out of control.
You know how it can be! There is always more to do, or I have this really great idea that takes longer than expected. As you might guess, staying at work too long has a negative impact on stress levels, health, maintaining outside friendships and many other areas of our lives. To be honest, two of my goals from last year were directly related to this goal, so I have already fallen short once!
First, I need to work from my strengths. As an experienced teacher, I have a stash of lesson plans that have worked well. Using them when possible will streamline the planning process.
Second, I need to practice saying "no" to extra curricular jobs. I definitely agree to many things that seem simple enough, then they turn into big projects. It is important for all of us to support the mission of the school, and be a part of the school community. In a great school community, these extras are shared around. It is not healthy for any individual, or the school community, for one person to do too many things. My action step will be to answer requests with an offer to check my calendar, and then honestly do just that. Using the calendar to make an informed decision will be better for me and also for my colleagues.
Third, I need to reconnect with my friends. We are all busy, but we all have similar needs for fellowship and exercise. Perhaps we can do both at the same time!
Maintaining a balance between work and home is healthier, and less stressful. Taking these action steps will make me a better teacher and a better friend. Taking positive steps leads to a more positive attitude, which leads to taking more positive steps, and on an on.
Here is to jumping in to a positive, healthy new year!
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