Reasons to be cheerful: 1, 2, 3?

Christmas is now a distant memory – lost in the seemingly inescapable flood of teaching, planning, marking, assessment, meetings, etc. Now we are immersed it would be easy to be dragged under, especially at this time of year. Therefore, if we are to stand any chance of surviving until half term, we need to focus on some reasons to be cheerful.  If not for yourself, do it for your families, colleagues and the children you teach!

  1. You know you can do it!  You survived last term and that was a marathon, this term is just a sprint by comparison.  Plus, if you haven’t moved school or anything, you know the children and the systems and so it will be easier.
  2. You are doing something potentially life changing everyday – educating and preparing children’s minds for their future life.  There aren’t many people who can say their job is as important as that, it is a privilege to be given this responsibility.
  3. Teaching is hard, really hard, harder than anyone outside realises.  But if you can keep your head above water, develop strategies to cope, improve and then flourish you will be very sort after.  I am not so short sighted that I don’t see the problems caused by the recruitment crises but we are looking for positives here.  If you are good at this job you are in a strong position and that isn’t true in every industry.

A-school-closed-sign-001So they are my reason’s to be cheerful, I didn’t even mention the fact it might snow next week or that we get (for now) a 6 week break from the classroom every summer.  What are your reasons to be cheerful in the depressing depths of January?

Will you sleep soundly tonight?

January is strange in schools. You should be relaxed and refreshed after 2 weeks off but the reality is a crowd of zombies.

OK, you have had a break from teaching but: entertaining, late nights, perhaps a little more alcohol than you would normally have and everything else that the Christmas & New Year period entails hardly make it a holiday.

On top of all that there is the insomnia. The night before I go back to school I always worry but after Christmas it is worse. I do not think I am alone!

Why?

Firstly, remember we worry because we care! We want the best for the children we teach and losing some sleep is a symptom of this.

Your feet haven’t touched the ground for the past 2 weeks, opening the laptop was never going to happen, despite your best intentions. Planning while the in laws/neighbours/random strangers (delete as appropriate) are being entertained is generally frowned upon, so you are completely unprepared. You haven’t got the excitement or adrenaline you get in September when everything seems new, you know what to expect and that might not be a good thing!

But worse than this is the expectations. This is the term where you (or the children you teach) need to make progress! There is nowhere to hide, you have had a term to get to know them, mould them and build the foundations – now you need to show what a great teacher you are! Is this a pressure you are putting on yourself, does it come from your SLT or is it the current culture in Education? Probably a mix of all 3 but unless you have a crystal ball I’m sure that assessing without levels has only added to the pressure.

Add to all of this the knowledge that the children you are going to try to teach are also going to be a crowd of zombies, how could they have recovered already from staying up to see the New Year in? It is no surprise that you can’t sleep – neither can I! There isn’t anything you can do about it, just rest in the knowledge that you are not alone and that in a few days the chaos of Christmas will be long forgotten.

How do we cope with everything else? We will deal with that, just subscribe to this blog for thoughts, insights, resources and more.

Despite all of this, my worst fear for tomorrow is tinsel! Is there anything more depressing than tinsel in January? I hope I remembered to take it all down – did you?