Tuesday, April 17, 2018

An Open Letter: to myself

Dear Miriam,

I can't help but notice that, right at this time, you are feeling down and stressed. You've spent this semester working with brand new authors, teaching things you've never taught before and are uncomfortable with, attending conferences (and presenting), and working with three clubs. And so, here you are. You are tired, frustrated, and angry -- mostly with yourself. Why? A few thoughts come to mind.

  • You aren't getting enough sleep and it makes you grumpy.
  • You have over extended yourself in some areas and are struggling to meet deadlines. 
  • You have explained things 20+ times and yet, people still ask the same questions. 
  • If others don't meet their deadlines, you can't meet yours. 
  • You are working with brand new material - just WHAT have you gotten yourself into? (hint: upcoming blog post alert!)
  • Given all the above, and the fact you are dedicated to your job, you find yourself missing time at home with loved ones. 
Why do you blame yourself for all these things, especially when most are not your own doing? Because you care. I get it. But... also allow me to remind you of a few things:

  1. Sleep is good. So is coffee. Don't feel badly about that second cup, or sleeping in on the weekend. 
  2. Okay, so you are a "yes" person. There isn't anything wrong with that, in that it allows you to show your skill, grow professionally, and feel productive. 
  3. Look at you go. You are finding news ways to communicate with all kinds of people. :)
  4. There is always a way. Kids are kids, even when they are nearing 18. Don't feel badly for making changes and accommodations you would appreciate yourself. It doesn't make you a bad person or teacher. 
  5. WOW.... you are working with brand new material, that you've never read before. 
  6. You are a dedicated person. You can apply that same love and passion to your loved ones and relationships as you do work. 
Are there areas for growth? Sure, but before I get to those, remember this:

There is an ebb and flow to life. Remember those days when you wished and hoped for something to do, well here they are. They will come again. There is always a busy season and, yes, sometimes they overlap. The key to it all is: balance. Sometimes we say "yes" to too many things. The question is no longer, "how do I say 'no'?", but, "how do I honour my commitments and honour myself?" That is how you handle this - by moving forward, one step at a time: one plan, one moment, one day. So, Miriam, tired teacher.... A few points to work on:

  1. Make a morning routine and stick to it. On the weekends, say "yes" to that extra hour and "heck yes" to that nap. This too shall pass. 
  2. In the future, you must learn to say "no" - with gusto. You have made so much progress, but there is still more to do. Saying "no" to someone else means saying "yes" to yourself.
  3. Remember: you love these kiddos. Their brains are not fully formed yet and they need extra guidance sometimes. 
  4. See above. 
  5. Be proud of the work you do, no matter how messy it is. You are growing as a teacher, and student. You are becoming an avid reader of Latin. 
  6. If your loved ones are asking for you, make the time. Say no to someone else. Do it. 
And... a few life reminders:
  • Say yes to water. 
  • Say yes to a movie. 
  • Say yes to extra kitten and puppy snuggles. 
  • Say yes to self care.
Remember: you are a good teacher and this moment of self doubt, stress, and general busy-ness will pass. 

Love, 
Miriam