In the spirit of boundaries (and knowing what I need) I’m going to stay true to sending out two Well Wishes each month. When I’m writing this, I’m about 38 weeks pregnant, so there’s a good chance that when you’re reading this, I will have already had our little baby boy! More news to come on that front.
But in keeping with the theme of boundaries, I also thought this would be a great time for the reminder that as we embark on this school year of uncertainty, that “NO” is a complete sentence, and that to truly be the best teacher you can be, you’ve got to give yourself permission to be a fully living human being.
This includes leaving school when planned, keeping extra weekend work to a minimum and generally asking yourself if the things that are keeping you at school are self-imposed or actually necessary. Meaning…will anyone notice but you if your bulletin boards aren’t perfect, your written feedback isn’t quite as thorough, or you take an extra day to enter a few grades?
The answer is probably that no one will notice the minute details that we belabor over because we want to provide all children with such an incredible school experience. But at what cost? And honestly, our students will probably appreciate a verbal check in just as much (if not more) than writing on their papers, they probably won’t notice our bulletin boards either way and they may be thanking us that their grades aren’t entered as promptly as we would like.
Our students (and our families) will probably appreciate how we show up with them when we feel good about how we are taking care of ourselves. And that includes setting boundaries to work a 40 hour work week.
Yes, there are seasons of teaching when it’s easier to just stay a little longer to finish things up (especially as new teachers and/or at the beginning of a school year), but can we move toward setting the boundary of working our contracted 40 hour work week instead of just allowing our time to be spent at school?
If you’re interested in learning some tips to begin moving toward this doable goal of a 40 hour work week, download this guide here:
There is a lot of resentment in our world today and we can try to stay clear of all of that by doing our part to set boundaries not only with people, but also with our time.
I wish you a year of moving toward working a full and productive 40 hour work week. Like I say to my students, constraints bring creativity. Put the boundary of the time constraint in, and see how creative you can get with stacking tasks, letting go of unneeded items, etc. for the pursuit of this greater good.
I’d love to hear how you’ve implemented these things and if you’ve been able to reach the 40 hour work week goal.
To teaching well,
P.S. If you’re looking for more a way to walk through the unknown of this school year, please check out The Path of the Mindful Teacher. It’s packed with relevant and implementable ideas that are sure to support you in this year’s teacher journey.