The 3 R’s of Summer…Reflect, Rejuvenate, and Relax. You Deserve It!
Written by: Kristin Parisi
It’s hard to believe the end of the school year is upon us once more. For me, this wraps up my 28th year in education. Twenty eight years!! I remember being a young teacher and marveling at those teaching down the hall from me with experience like that (why did they seem SO much older?!). As I think back on my career and especially these past few years, I am realizing now more than ever it is important to stop and reflect on what I’ve learned.
Recently, I’ve learned a lot about grace, my need to ask for the grace and forgiveness I need, and to remember to extend the same to others. Teaching is HARD. We all know that. But for some reason, we hold ourselves to a standard that is almost impossible to achieve. I think we all tend to beat ourselves up when we make common mistakes. We think others are ruminating on the mistakes we make. We think they are upset with us when in reality, they’ve moved on and have probably forgotten all about the situation we are stuck on. In an admin meeting last year, we watched a video about the stories we tell ourselves in our own minds, based on what we think others are thinking about us. Many times (probably all of the time) those stories aren’t actually even true. But we are so stuck on the fear and worry, we forget to extend grace to the one person who we care the most about…ourselves. The next time you are stuck, remember to stop the stories that are on repeat in your head and extend yourself a little grace. You deserve it! And then, you must also remember to extend that same grace to others.
“The next time you are stuck, remember to stop the stories that are on repeat in your head and extend yourself a little grace.”
We have all heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.” Throughout my 28 years as an educator and my 24 years as a mom, I can honestly say truer words have never been spoken! However, we somehow feel like it is wrong to take time out for ourselves. The month of May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and in my district, we are taking 1 day per week to do self care. Our district has planned a yoga class for us, along with a sound bath experience, and classes on mental health awareness. I’m incredibly grateful to work for a district that is focusing on our mental health and provides opportunities for us to practice self care.
As an admin team, we are also reading the book, The Burnout Cure: Learning to Love Teaching Again by Chase Mielke. While I don’t think books such as these share groundbreaking information, I am really enjoying this book. Chase talks a lot about being grateful and keeping a gratitude journal. Writing what you are grateful for and WHY doesn’t haven’t to take a lot of your time but the return on the investment is huge and long lasting. In his book, Chase gives 3 tips for writing in a gratitude journal.
- Tip #1 – Don’t make it a chore.
- Tip #2 – One deep reflection is better than multiple shallow thoughts.
- Tip #3 – It’s not a pass/fail practice.
I kept a gratitude journal for a long time a few years ago, and I’m not sure why I stopped. I’m going to make a promise to myself to start this habit again!
My last thought for this month’s blog post is to find something to do that makes you happy and then do it unapologetically. Maybe it’s getting a coffee at a cute coffee shop on Saturday mornings, getting your nails done a few times a year, or just taking a walk after the kids are in bed, but find your thing and do it! For me, I keep thinking about how much I love to swim. I haven’t found myself in a pool for a few years, and I know that my body is missing it. So, goal #2 for myself is to find a pool and get swimming!
“Find your thing and do it!”
And I guess I have one more thought before I close out my blog…thank you! Thank you for working with our littlest children each day! Thank you for seeing all of the wonderful qualities they bring to your classroom and for recognizing their worth and potential each day. If you are anything like the teachers I work with, you are doing everything and more to help each child in your classroom as they work to reach their full potential, and I want you to know how grateful I am for your dedication and hard work. Take time this summer to recharge and relax. Enjoy your own family and friends and refresh your battery throughout the warm summer months. I am in awe of the work you do!
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