Taking care of yourself is good for you... and your students.
It’s that time of year. I’ve started seeing the posts on social media. Cough. Summer colds. Crashing on the couch immediately when you get home. Teachers are exhausted. They’re sick. They’re sick because they’re exhausted. It’s the season where we push ourselves to be the best. We try all the new things we learned. We’ve been going 100 miles per hour for weeks and we haven’t slowed down.
Until we have to…
I remember one day early in my teaching career when I was feeling awful from the start of the day. But it was Friday. I could make it! I was going to push through and make it through to the weekend and then rest. I took all the meds I could. I made it through 1st period. I made it through 2nd period. I sat down during my 3rd period conference, and I realized I was done. There wasn’t a part of my body that could continue teaching. I messaged the administrative assistant who organized substitutes and went home. I crashed. When I awoke, I took my temperature. 102. Mind you, there was still ibuprofen in my system. I was trying to work through a fever… and not a low fever either. I wish I could say that I never made that mistake again - that I always listened to my body and took the day off when I felt badly or sick. But the truth is I still do it. I push myself to the point of no return until my body waves the white flag, and I am forced to listen.
It’s not good for anyone. Not you. And not your students. Your students need the best you they can have. The best you is not a you with a 102 degree fever. We educators need to realize we are not super people. And being your best doesn’t mean giving up sleep, rest, and recreation to do it all because at some point you break.
And that’s ok. It’s not weakness. There are such high expectations that parents, administrators, society puts on teachers. Add those that we put on ourselves. Y’all, it’s a lot. Give yourself a break. Don’t take home all that work to grade over the weekend. Leave work on time. Take care of yourself. You deserve a happy, healthy you… and so do your students.
And with that… I’m on vacation! Until next week… Trying to follow my own advice!