Sunday, November 5, 2017

Don't Go Down the Rabbit Hole

Most educators can relate to the above graphic. Regardless of your experience, you've been on that rollercoaster. Regardless of your position/title, you've been on that rollercoaster. Regardless of the varying degrees of achievement within your school, you've been on that rollercoaster. Regardless of the socioeconomic status of the students you serve, you've been on that rollercoaster. Regardless of circumstance, we've all been on that rollercoaster.

It's November 2nd as I draft this post. You'll notice, on the graphic, we should be in the midst of Disillusionment.

Don't go down the rabbit hole!

Last month I blogged about ways to prevent yourself from becoming cynical (Don't Become a Cynic, linked). Below are the original seven tips (plus a few new and updated ones) that help me - can help you - remain in the anticipation, reflection, and rejuvenation stages of the chart.
  • Be balanced - Education (life) can be stressful. Find things that provide you with an outlet. Exercise, read, write, spend time with family and friends; whatever it is, do the things that you enjoy.
  • Be connected - Find your tribe. find your like minded people, find your people that inspire you, find your people that push you to be a little better each day. Lean on these people, problem solve with these people, share with these people, and most importantly celebrate with these people.
  • Be grateful - Think about all of the things that you have. Not everyone has all of these things. We sometimes get so caught up in all of the stuff that it can be easy to lose sight of this. Don't forget, perspective is key to life.
  • Be kind to others - Assume others are giving their best effort; assume others have positive intent. Always seek to understand.
  • Be kind to yourself, too - "Give yourself the grace to be imperfect." You aren't going to be perfect; no one is. Focus, instead, on getting better, bit-by-bit, day-by-day.
  • *NEW - Be the educator that you want for you kids - I don't think that this one needs any explanation.
  • Choose your attitude - Life happens. Situations occur that are outside of our control. Furthermore, we don't have control over other people. We do, however, always have control over how we respond. We have the power to choose the attitude that we embody.
  • *NEW - Engage in your own Genius Hour - Find your passion project. Engage in it. Implement it. Revise it. Master it.
  • *NEW - Fake it 'til you make it - Smile and start giving out high fives. The energy that you get back will soon change the energy within you.
  • Look for the good  - Because the more intentional you are about looking for good, the more good that you will find.
  • *NEW - Remember your why - Why did you get into education? For most of us, this decision wasn't content related. Most of us (hopefully) wanted to make a difference for/with kids; so focus your efforts, energy, and time on building relationships. Content is secondary to relationships, anyways.
  • *NEW - Unfair advantage - a term that I've heard Dean Shareski use in his keynote - Stop worrying so much about what you don't know how to do and/or what you aren't great at. Find the one thing that you love, the one thing that you do really well and do more of that.

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