Ah, the Christmas countdown begins.
In two-weeks, I will officially be on winter break. (Teachers everywhere, rejoice!) But till then, there is so much to do: we need to complete our circuit board project with Christmas tree lights (so cute! check it out here), organize our classroom Winter Family Celebration, do our practice SBAC testing, and, of course, grades.
As the old adage goes: So much to do, so little time.
As a teacher, time can feel like it’s moving at lightening speed. Each day is different and, therefore, we never truly know what to expect and how much time we’ll have to get things done in our contracted 30 hours per week. Of course, we all know that teachers work way more than that — my first year I easily doubled that number with lesson planning, grading, parent phone calls, student reports, IEPs, professional development trainings and administrative paperwork.
By this time last year, I was burned out.
So I made a promise to myself in hopes of sustaining my love for learning and helping my students grow. Out of desperation for rejuvenation, Self-Care Sundays was born.
It’s a challenge to carve out a whole day for myself and sometimes it doesn’t always happen, especially when an IEP is coming up or grades are due but I am sincerely trying to put myself first — put my mask on before helping my kiddos with theirs — because I know if I don’t, I won’t be able to sustain this profession.
Maybe that’s why teachers are always “counting down”. It’s emotionally draining to try to meet the needs of humans, both small and tall, and if we fail to take care of our needs first, we are not fully filled enough to give back to our students and the many demands of the day.
So, go ahead, allow yourself to take a day just for you. No grading, no IEPs, no lesson planning. Just you.
Christine Terry is a Special Education Teacher and the Founder & Executive Director of Terry Tutors Specialized Education Services. She combines her teaching credential, psychology and law degrees, and a whole lotta chutzpah and heart to serve students and families seeking academic, behavior and advocacy support. Learn more at TerryTutors.com