Every fall we begin a cycle in schools. The teachers of the youngest students in our buildings come to us telling us they have never had students at such low levels before. The upper grade teachers come to us wondering why their new students won’t behave and asking why the lower grade teachers didn’t get them "under control." About mid-way through fall teachers are stressed, students are jumpy, and administrators are slapping down new rules and regulations.
Every year at this time, teachers stagger in to talk about how tired they are, how stressed, how ill (with colds, flu, allergies, high blood pressure), and how much they need a break. It happens every year so we should be able to just ride out this cycle. How do you cope?
Since I fell ill right after the book fair (also a yearly event), I wanted to spend my first weekend of fall break sleeping with no communication with anyone outside my house. I wanted to turn off the telephone, facebook, email, and the tv. That was my intention. Instead, my friend Shirley called to let me know my son was on facebook, so I crawled out of bed and connected with the world.
This began a chain of many connections including the Joyce Valenza and Buffy Holland presentation on Classroom 2.0 using Elluminate and many other tools. I was connected and learning, revitalized and excited about the profession plus…. I didn’t have to crawl out of my cocoon of tissues, tea, and tunnelling blankets.
From there I conferenced with friends, IM’d, left facebook messages, texted, and took a couple cell calls. While I was tired and just wanted to be alone, what I needed most was other people’s enthusiasum for life and our profession.
Are you feeling the fall blues? Instead of tunnelling under your blankets as if you were hibernating by yourself, consider getting more connected. Plan to attend the AASL National Conference in Charlotte. Can’t make the conference? Try a local event. Tennessee will have their Tenn-Share Fall Conference and Datafest Sharing. Or, join one of the online conferences like I did and enjoy people from a distance where you can be part of something fantastic – our profession – all without crawling out from under your covers. Take care and if I don’t see you soon, I’ll be knocking on your cave doors waking you up.