It is part way through term one- provincial or state testing time is underway- and your workload is increasing by the day (evaluations, report cards, IEP/IPP reports, running records, adaptation reports). There is just not enough time to get it done. Outside, the weather is changing and a little bit of snow is dusting the ground (or maybe a lot), and you know your holidays are close but still a few LONG weeks away. Your shoulders are now permanently glued to your ears and you are a little shorter from spending endless hours typing on the computer..... you also have a paper due next week!
Your reality is BUSY BUSY BUSY, but your day dreams have moved onto sunny skies and endless beaches (or champagne ski powder and blue skies!)- but your tension is in work mode, but your mind is starting to wonder.... a lot.
I cannot tell you how many times I hear this same scenario from teachers- 'There is not enough time to get things done' & 'I NEED a holiday'
These feelings are fine, in most cases this is the kind of stress and hope we need to get things done effectively. It is the stress that snaps us out of our procrastinating ways. That is ok- we know a healthy level of stress helps us in some contexts.
However, it is this kind of stress that can also bring out some of our more feisty characteristics. When we are stressed & feeling pulled in all directions, it is easy to become a little less social, a little more quiet or 'moody', and a lot more irritable. Again- we might be teachers, but we are still human.
This post is not about keeping your stress in check- quite the opposite. I will write about ways to reduce stress at a later date, BUT I want you to know how normal it is to feel this way. I bet you can hold it together for your students, your kiddos, and your other obligations- but when you have that down time without little monkeys pulling at your legs- you probably feel the stress come back on. AGAIN- NORMAL!!! You will get your work done, your will pass in your reports, and you will get to enjoy that holiday soon!
What is important is when your colleague or your friend or just someone you know is feeling the stress from the busyness of life, ask if they are ok or ask if you can help or ask if you can listen. JUST ASK
So often, we assume we know what someone is going through or the reason for their 'stress' or 'moodiness', but this only leads us to interject our assumptions into a context in which we are not involved or a part of. We stop listening and supporting, and we start telling them what 'I would do in this situation'....... if you are like me, you know when stress levels are high the last thing you want to hear is how someone else has it all together!
This post is about showing kindness and support to your colleagues, friends, and the random person down the hall. If someone appears to be out of sorts or just trying to stay afloat, just ask how you can help or if you can listen.