How to keep motivated?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by MsDeb, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

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    Jan 28, 2012

    WARNING- This is a vent!

    I love to teach. I love my school. I am having a horrible year though. How do you stay motivated and inspired in spite of all the stresses?

    Everyone is under tremendous stress with the new evaluation system, new lesson plan demands, neverending assessments, RTI, etc. - I can handle this (I think).

    I can even handle the students but I can't handle the parents!

    Yesterday:
    One student came and told me he isn't going to do the reading log because his mom said it was stupid and threw it away. This boy has been tardy 72 days so far.

    A grandparent called and wants to have me fired for picking on her grandson (who happens to be a severe behavior problem). She was contacting the school board and I should expect to seeing the mom on Monday.

    A student came in and took her reading test then handed me a note. The note said that I was to call home when she was done with her test so that the mom could pick her up. So, apparently she thinks there was nothing else going on at school on Friday?

    And a student brought in bedbugs yesterday! EWWW! That parent was angry. The nurse and P bore the brunt of that one.

    This is just one day! I have had a rough couple of weeks. I'm so worried about these kids! I do love my students and maybe if I care about them so much, this would be easier.

    I broke done in front of my P at lunch. My P is very supportive and even found me later in the day to tell me to go home as soon as the bell rang. Apparently she's worried about me. I'm worried about me!

    How do you step back and not let it all get to you??
    :eek:
     
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  3. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    Jan 28, 2012

    How? How do you NOT let it get to you? You had a crappy week. I'd worry about you if you DIDN'T have stress from it.

    You're human. Don't let the fact that you get stressed add to your stress level.

    Eventually you'll learn the art of inwardly eye-rolling. Somehow that skill of rolling eyes translates into other things rolling too. Rolling right off your back. It might take a few days for the shock of the nonsense you've experienced to fully sink in. Then you can logically analyze it and let it go.

    Seriously, that's a ridiculous amount of mess to put up with in one day. Laughable ridiculous.

    Just try to remember that NONE of that was due to choice you made in the classroom. So you can't take it personally. Crap just happened to you. You can't fix it, you just have to plow through.
     
  4. Curiouscat

    Curiouscat Comrade

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    Jan 28, 2012

    I am so sorry things aren't going well:(
    Some advice:
    1. Remember change is hard. Better days will come!
    2. Talk a walk. If possible walk alone or walk with a friend that will let you vent. If you walk alone crank the tunes and just go. Exercise is a huge stress reliever.
    3. Writing helps me so I would try listing every single negative thing I could think of on a big piece of paper. I would list every single good thing I can think of on another big piece of paper. Just write whatever comes to your mind whether it has to do with your personal life or your professional life. Every time something comes to your mind this weekend just write it down right away. Think of the papers as the keeper of all of the negative things so the negative things are not floating around in your head constantly. Think of the positive paper as your reminder that not all is bad in your life.
    4. Get out of your routine and distract yourself. Wandering through Target helps me. I don't buy a thing. I just wander and look and let my mind relax.
    5. Go get a massage. I go once a month because it reminds me to slow down and take care of me.
    6. Remember you an only do so much. Focus your energy on where you can make a difference. The student whose parent threw away the reading log and has the kid late to school constantly? Not much you can do for that child. Smile and say, " I am sorry to hear that." then go about your business. Nothing you say is going to change that situation.
    7. People who threaten to have you fired? They are bullies and will probably be over it by about now while you are walking around stressing out about it today. Just smile to yourself and think, "Unemployment sounds great right about now. I could be sitting on the couch eating Bon bons instead of dealing with this garbage!" (I am kidding --- I would not want to lose my job but there are days it sounds like a great idea!!!)
    I hope this helps!!!!
     
  5. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 28, 2012

    Reflect enough on the complaints in order to find any potential solutions. After that, let it go.

    Communicate positively with parents early, especially if you have a child that has behavior issues. That way you build trust early that you sincerely care about THEIR child as an individual and they will be more likely to listen when things arise. Always listen to them with an open mind and validate their concerns. Doing this will reduce complaints but it won't necessarily erase all of them. It happens.

    Some things you do have to let go if you have no control over them. The student going home early would be one such example. Parents make choices. They may not be the choices we would make, but it is within their rights to make them. The parent could very well have a reason for wanting the student out of school that day but respected that you were given a test. Sometimes we don't know all the reasons and even if we did, it wouldn't change it. You also can't change that the student brought in bed bugs.

    Take care of yourself. It's great that you care. You have to develop a little bit of a thick skin. Listen, validate, reflect and move on. I like the idea of writing things down (on both sides). It might help you keep your perspective. Sometimes it isn't that something really bugs us but rather that you just had a lot of little things pile up all at once and need a break from it. That's what it sounds like here. Hugs!
     
  6. TeachOn

    TeachOn Habitué

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    Jan 28, 2012

    Yikes: parents and parasites! Whenever I feel hassled by the adults in my working life - be they parents or bureaucrats - I find sustenance in what goes on in my classroom, in my students and in the stuff I get to teach them. The nonsense passes.
     
  7. MsDeb

    MsDeb Comrade

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    Jan 28, 2012

    Thanks for all the support and advice! It has been just an overwhelming month so far.

    The grandmother just pushed me over the edge. Threatening my job? Really? If she only knew how hard I work with this child. Yesterday, he asked to come home with me. Yes, I'm tough on him I set boundaries and have high expectations of him, do I pick on him? No. I do the same for all my kids.

    It'll be a fresh start on Monday! :)
     
  8. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jan 28, 2012

    This past month has been extremely stressful for me. Parent issues mostly, toss in a co-worker who has classroom management issues and sends me kids who she can't control. Normally the ones I get are the kids that I had last year.

    The other morning I had a parent, who doesn't like me, complain because I wouldn't take her daughter's 100 day project (It's not due until sometime next week. I just sent the assignment home the day before! She's also the parent that no matter what I do, it will never be enough or good enough), something else happened, I don't remember now & my co-worker was sending me a child who wouldn't do her work. Umm, school had only been in session for 15 min!

    I told my TA that I needed to take a walk or I would lose it. I saw my principal & gave him a 30 sec. vent. He wasn't happy with my co-worker. Reminded me that parents complain about something all the time (for him it sounds like daily). I finished my walk, went back to the classroom & continued our day.

    By the end of the day I had developed a rash, so I took the next day off to go to the dr. My TA was glad that I didn't come in after my dr. appt., which I had thought about doing. Now, I'm fighting off the rest of the virus that the rash started. Grr. . .

    Find ways to help you relax. There are things that you can't change. It aggravates me that not all parents have the same mind set of sending their child to school every day & on time. Yes, it creates more work for me when I have papers that come in late. A cup of hot chocolate in the middle of the afternoon helps me to stay relaxed.

    Clearing off my desk helps. Having everything planned & copied before I leave Friday night helps. Hot bubble baths, a glass of wine. A clean, organized house. I'm in the process of decluttering!

    Every day is a new day.
     

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