Saturday, October 2, 2021

Overcome October

 Congratulation, you’ve made it through one of the hardest months in education, September, but this year was probably the hardest in everyone’s career. Next up is the awesome month October. Typically, October is a challenging month when you recognize how much work is necessary to get kids to grow as learners, but this year October will be more challenging because more kids than ever are further behind this year.

Will you Overcome or Be Overcome?

It is easy to succumb to the stress of the work, but if we want kids to grow more than ever, we must realize that it all begins in how we approach the work. If we are distressed, the work will inevitably be not as successful. After all, distress kills our success. Many think stress is a bad thing but it’s really not. Too much stress is a bad thing, and that is what we call distress.
Are you overcome by the obstacles, or will you overcome them? The great ones overcome by taking a step back and looking at the big picture. Nothing we do in education is life-threatening, but when we’re overcome with stress we overreact as if everything is life or death.

‘We work in a school, not an emergency room.’

If we want to rock October, we have to move from being overcome to being an overcomer. We do that by:
  • Starting our day with prayer, reflection, or studying things that are about making you a better person.
  • Having a routine of things you do each day and things you do on different days in your work week.
  • Embracing the fact that not everything is important.
  • Taking a step back when we start to stress out and put it all in perspective.
  • Visit with a critical friend who will pull you back when you start to be overcome.

Rock October

If we want to excel in October, we have to remember we are running a marathon, not a sprint. Sure, September exhausted you but in a marathon, the first part of the race exhausts you and makes you want to stop running. Those who run the race well recognize that it’s always about mind over matter. If you think you can’t make it, you won’t. If you know you can make it, you will. You we’re born to overcome, and the perfect month has arrived for you to make it happen. Be strong and courageous. Overcome October.

Friday, September 10, 2021

5 Steps to Surviving Stress-tember

September 2021 has proven to be even more demanding than September 2020 ever was. With the increasing cases of COVID, addressing learning gaps due to the last two years of COVID slide, catching kids up when they're out for 2 weeks, getting caught up if you're out for 2 weeks, and balancing the personal issues that go with COVID, September is definitely a stressful month for us all.

With everything coming at us, how do we deal with the stress? How do we deal with all the demands coming at us? How do we deal with the frustration of others as well as our own frustrations? There is a solution, and it involves you.

5 Steps to Surviving Stress-tember.

  1. Count your Blessings - You make the choice to be stressed or blessed. If you are breathing, you are blessed. Look at all you have. You are blessed. If you can make it to work and make it home, you are blessed. Others are not so fortunate.
  2. Stop Focusing on Everything - You are a human, not a machine. You can't do everything. Also, with more tasks on your plate, you can only do so many in a 24 hour day. Prioritize your work, and recognize some things will have to wait.
  3. Give Encouragement to Others - You may think it's crazy to give when you feel you have so little time to give, but if you encourage others, you in turn encourage yourself, and that shot of dopamine decreases your stress.
  4. Share Concerns with Leaders - Your leaders are stressed out as well. If you have concerns they need to know because those concerns can help them steer the ship or adjust the sails in these turbulent waters.
  5. Give Yourself and Others Grace - In order to win the race, you must give yourself some grace. You will fail. Others will struggle, and many will be overwhelmed. Be an ambassador for grace and give it graciously.
Bonus - Don't Neglect your Family - When we get stressed from work, we have nothing left in the tank for the people supposedly matter most in our lives. When it's time to go home, go home. The work will be there when you come back tomorrow. Without your family, your work is meaningless anyway.

With these 5 steps, you will be blessed, but without them, you will be stressed. If you want to survive September, you have to remember that tough times don't last but tough people do. You also have to remember that it could always be worse.

Don't be overcome by the circumstances. Instead overcome them by believing in all that is good, pure, noble, and praiseworthy. If you do, you will watch your stress decrease tremendously.

God's speed...