I like the metaphor that author Steven Covey uses to convey our level of trust in our relationships. It is the emotional bank account, and it works just like a money account. You can make deposits and you can make withdrawals, based on how you interact with other people. We all know it is much easier to function from a large positive account than it is to function from constantly being in the negative. There are six ways to make deposits (or reduce withdrawals): Understand others Keep commitments Clarify expectations Attend to little things Show personal integrity Apologize when appropriate We make deposits with our students because it helps them learn. But I see it being more one sided - students do not always have the capacity or maturity to make deposits in our emotional account. So we operate from a state of emotional debt. Many teachers also find that their administration is not making deposits, in the form of not understanding us as individuals, not keeping commitments, not setting clear expectations or not apologizing. This adds to our emotional debt. My question is this: How do you rebuild your emotional bank account? What do you do to decrease stress? Or in the words of Stephen Covey, how do you sharpen the saw? Thank you!