“Well darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable/ And lightness has a call that’s hard to hear”. Those lines from the Indigo Girls spoke to me this morning. It wraps up what I’ve been feeling for a couple of months now. To keep up the advancement of ideas, momentum and progress in school we need to listen carefully for the lightness calling us. The fear, anxiety, stress and cabin fever of February can wear on us. Here are a few ideas to keep you moving forward:
1. Finish strong. I always think of my gymnastics teacher, Mr. H. I really wasn’t good at gymnastics; I wasn’t flexible enough for handsprings, back bends or swinging my less-than-lithe 12 year old body around the uneven parallel bars. I did learn a lesson. Start strong, finish strong. He was a stickler for that. You could do the best floor routine but if you didn’t do the start and finish he made you do it over. Several times over the past month I noticed the importance of finishing strong. This mid year period is the beginning of the end. Even in the beginning we need to set ourselves up to finish strong.
2. Don’t be afraid to get yourself worked over
About a week ago I had a deep tissue massage. As I was laying on the table, I realized the massage therapist was going to give me a good working over. I haven’t been taking care of myself lately. Too much stress, not enough exercise, hunched over my keyboard writing emails late into the night, I wasn’t being kind to my body. And throughout the uncomfortable points of working through the knots in my muscle I realized I was getting some feedback. And it hurt. Alot. The next morning I woke up and felt like I was run over by a truck. I drank water. I stretched. I gave myself a break from the emails. By the third day I felt better. Feedback is tough and can really hurt, especially when you’ve been neglecting something. But feel the pain. Take care of yourself and you will make it through.
3. Reach out
Schools are stressful places. Once a consultant came to our school and said the teaching professional was the second most stressful profession, right behind air traffic controllers. I don’t know if that’s true but it’s this time of year when the crush of 5 day weeks, cold air, pressure of tests and curriculum take the toll on everyone. Reach out and help your colleagues and students.
Don’t let the darkness gobble you up in the waning moments of the school year. Listen for the light.
Reflection is key to my success. Life gives little time for this. Friday night is my deadline.