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Instructional Practice

Don’t be a Victim: Protect against “The Slump”

Written by JoAnna Duncan, TE Instructional Coach

Yes, it’s that time of year. Thanksgiving break is on the horizon, although you may feel like it’s still ages away. It feels like each school day is actually stretching longer, while hours of sunlight are getting shorter. The good news is that you are not alone, and there are some things that you can do to help yourself stay focused, healthy and able to bring your best self to school each day.

  1. Prioritize!

    Make a list of tasks that you need to complete each day and schedule the time that you will complete each item on your calendar. Now look at the list and determine which ones have to be done by you. If it can be delegated, reach out to that other committee or team members. Parent volunteers are great for things like making copies and deliveries around campus. If you’re finding that you are still over scheduled for each day, complete the tasks that must be done before your head hits the pillow that night.

  2. Take care of yourself

    As a teacher, it can become an easy pattern to put everyone else’s needs before our own. While that may seem honorable, we are doing ourselves an injustice. Make sure that you are taking time to eat balanced meals, and eat them often. If you enjoy working out, start setting goals for how many times you will fit in some exercise each week. Set a bed time, and do your best to stick to it to ensure that you are getting ample rest and are able to restart each morning.

  3. Keep Flex Time Sacred

    Plan time, in your week or on the weekends, that you spend on anything other than work. Once you have set that time, make it sacred. Do not answer e-mails or grade papers. Just enjoy that time to the fullest. No matter if it’s dinner with friends, walks with your dog, watching football on the couch, or online shopping- keep that time blocked off to do what you truly want to be doing and not what you feel obligated to be doing.

  4. Reset your Mind

    Although it’s easier said than done, mentally resetting each day can make all the difference. Your attitude and how you approach each day determines how you feel when you finish that day. Leave the obstacles from the day before behind, and focus on making the day ahead great. Remember this: There are people who question if they truly make a difference each day- teachers don’t have that problem.

    What strategies do you use to protect against “the slump”?



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