A colleague of mine tweeted a link to this blog featuring a post titled: 30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself. Typically I avoid anything that appears to be a self-help column; I just don't enjoy reading about how to live a better life unless it's coming from the Bible. But because I respect this colleague, and she generally tweets about quality articles; I took a few minutes in between grading quizzes to skim through it. I don't agree with everything on this post, but there were two tips in particular that stuck out to me:
I am so guilty of this. Perfection runs deep in my blood. For as long as I can remember I've worked to be the best in whatever I do. In elementary school I devoted my free time to becoming the best gymnast; a few years down the line in high school, I spent hours at the track hurdling. This devotion eventually led to major injuries and burnout. By middle school, I was done being a gymnast. I had enough. My senior year of high school I tore a muscle in my hip and decided against surgery (because a large part of me was simply exhausted and wanted a break), ending my dreams of running collegiate track. Now my perfectionism has seeped into teaching. I've overwhelmed myself with trying to be the best in my career. And though I believe it's healthy to have personal drive, I fear that my anal mentality will be what drives me out of the teaching profession.
That last sentence segues nicely into this next tip. It's so hard not to desire to be everything to all 90 of my students. I want to reach EVERY kid. I know it's not realistic, but somehow I can't bring myself to come to grips with that fact. I also want to be regarded highly by my colleagues and peers; I want people to be able to come to me when they need help. But just between you and me, I'm tired of trying to be everything to everyone. My husband often gets what's left of me at the end of a week (which isn't much!). That's not fair to him.
Despite the self-help nature of the post, these two tips give me something to chew on as I wind down one semester and begin to gear up for another....