Tensions rise. Claws come out. Betrayals happen. Fear of contracts not being renewed can spark nasty rumors. It's easy to get caught up and forget who we are as educators and why we do what we do.
Here are 5 survival tips from the movie Top Gun to help educators make it to the last day of school in one piece!
1. Stay focused!
One of the easiest things to do is to be swept away by needless distractions.
Anytime a conversation starts with, "Have you heard....?" or "Did you hear about....?" That's a sign to disengage in the conversation. Keep your focus on our most valuable commodity: our learners! Don't let distractions shortchange our kids.
2. Stay connected!
Don't be fooled into thinking that you can coast through the end of the year alone. This is especially difficult for educators or administrators who have felt betrayed or have been let down by a team member. This isn't to say you have to go into relationships with blind trust. It's okay to have your guard up, but it is foolish to think you can finish strong if you choose not to work collaboratively with your professional learning community (PLC) and administration.
Ask: Do I have what I need to finish out the year? Are my discipline procedures in place? Do I have the supplies I need? Don't wait until next year. Go ahead and put in a help ticket to technology department if a computer decides to have a mind of its own.
4. Honor those in authority over you!
This can be a tough one especially if you feel like an administrator is out to get you. In reality, the opposite is true! Our administration is there to support and help their staff be successful. Think about it: their success as a Superintendent, Curriculum Director, Principal, or Assistant Principal is dependent on the performance of the staff they oversee.
It's easy to feel singled out, especially if your end-of -year evaluation doesn't portray you as the shiny penny you believe you are. Keep your head up. Show respect. It's okay to self-advocate but do so respectfully!
5. Be professional...always!
I recently read a statement: You can never be too overdressed or over-prepared. I'm not sure how applicable that is...but there is a hidden gem in this wise saying. How we dress, our tone of voice, the way we interact with co-workers, parents, and learners should stay professional.
Let's be honest. Our learners are going to be going bonkers the closer to the last day school. Award ceremonies, field trips, year book signing parties, are all going to add to the adrenaline rush. Keep your composure and keep doing what's best for kids!
- What are ways educators can mentally prepare for the weeks prior to summer vacation?
- Why is it important to maintain positive interactions with staff, parents, and learners?
- How can educators veer away from negative conversations without hurting feelings or isolating themselves? Why is it important to avoid fueling hurtful rumors?