I have learned a lot of lessons in my decades of life. It’s often said that you wish you knew then what you know now, but when I look back, I’ve enjoyed the journey. It hasn’t always been a happy journey, but it’s brought me to where I am now. Here are the top lessons I have learned:
It’s ok to mess up
Look, you are going to mess up a lot. You will have mistakes that are small and some that feel enormous. I’ve learned that it’s all about how you deal with it. Apologize when you are wrong, take time to reflect, and move on. Remember, your intent does not always matter if it hurts others. Be humble. Be grateful for learning. It is not easy. You may find yourself attempting to justify your actions. Sometimes that is not the best way. Sometimes, it’s best to listen and learn.
It’s ok to hate your job sometimes.
It’s not always going to be perfect. You may search for other jobs, thinking things are better elsewhere. Be mindful that if you are angry, making job decisions aren’t the best. Make those decisions when you are clear-headed. After much thought and understanding of why I was going, I decided to leave the district. It was a great decision, but even my new district was not perfect. I’ve learned that decisions made out of anger never do what you want them to.
It’s ok to take days.
This is a hill I will die on. I understand that there are sub-issues, but that’s an administrative issue, not a teacher issue. Part of your compensation is your days. I often scheduled days off during the semester so I could plan around them and enjoy them. As someone with a chronic illness exacerbated by stress, I understood that taking days to rest was lovely and necessary. If I ignored it, I would end up being out much longer. If you ignore when you are sick, your body will tell you, and often times it’s worse. No one should be privy to why you are out. Don’t check your email. Your classroom will survive without you. And if there is a mess when you get back? Ok, deal with it when you are back. It’s never going to be perfect, but if you are in a good headspace, you will be able to handle it much better. Take care of yourself. Your students deserve that, and so do you.