I’m struggling to adapt to summer time

Dear WeAreTeacher,
It’s really hard to get used to summer after this insane year of apprenticeship. I taught virtually for most of the year and then spent the last few months as a hybrid. It just sucked my life out of me, as it did so many teachers. And now that I’m gone, I don’t know what to do with myself. I still feel stressed and worried. I dream about school every night. I’ve been totally exhausted from the last year and a half, so you’d think I’d enjoy the break. It’s always an adaptation to full-time teaching, but this time it feels so different. Can you help me figure out how to really enjoy this time before I have to get back on track? —Teacher tired

Dear TT,

It is time to go from “school year you” to “summer you” and you can do this. The last year of school was more than stressful, and I suspect you, like many of us, were in crisis mode. No wonder summer is difficult for you to get used to.

I asked one of our teacher counselors, Richard Kennedy, to consider. He suggested, “It would probably be a good idea to take a step back, if only for a few days. What responsibility can you drop? Take some time for yourself – for a hobby you love or to try one out. A teacher I know made learning disc golf his project this summer; another teacher friend is learning to knit. “

Another thing to consider, especially if you are still feeling tense, is to make time for meditation in the morning or evening. “Above all, give yourself permission to relax mentally without feeling guilty. As teachers, we often feel that we have to be everything to everyone. Take a short break and don’t take anything related to school with you. Sometimes you have to be selfish. “

Dear WeAreTeacher,
I am a behavior specialist employed by the county. I’ve always had a good relationship with my assigned schools. This year, as we all know, was different. At the last minute I was assigned to a school where everything went wrong. In the end, I made the mistake of deregistering the rector there and received a written reprimand from the district. I am feeling so bad. I screwed it up and at the same time I know she was horrible for me. But my biggest mistake was not to involve my district director sooner, and now she seems cold and aloof. I know I let them down, but I’m angry that they were so hard on me. They did not verbally reprimand my first offense with them in seven years. I have to work on this bitterness I’m feeling or I’ll lose control again. Thoughts? – Rejected and regretted

Dear RAR,

It’s been such a tough year and it sounds like you still had a few challenges. We all have our limits. Coping means learning where those fault lines are and practicing strategies that work for us before we reach our limits. I have talked to Dr. Jane Esposito, a certified school psychologist and supervisor of her district’s mental health and wellness program, and she had this advice for you:

“Losing your temper at work is more common than you might think. According to a survey by the recruitment agency Accountemps in 2018, more than half (52%) of employees said they had lost their temper at work. The positive side of what you have shared is that you seem to have an understanding of how much responsibility you have in the conflict and how you could have dealt with the situation better. This type of insight is beneficial in growing professionally and trying to overcome the situation.

“What should be addressed is your feelings of anger. This is normal, but unspoken resentment can develop, which can further fuel your anger and burden you emotionally as it requires significant attention and energy. Begin the healing process by practicing mindfulness and meditation. Realize that negative thoughts and feelings will arise, know that they are only passing mental events, not reflections of your self-worth, and they don’t have to spoil feelings of happiness. The ability to be less reactive, both physically and emotionally, is something we can change about ourselves. “

Dear WeAreTeacher,
I teach the 8th grade summer school. Day one went great, but then a new student came on the second day and everything went well. This kid is so disturbing. Talking and bragging non-stop. My usual technique of letting him talk a little and then hoping that he would calm down didn’t work. Asking him directly to be quiet didn’t work. Supporting him with one-to-one tuition made him a one-man show for the class. I ended up removing it which was a great fix for a day. But I’m not sure how to deal with him on Monday. I know I can contact parents, but he’s been on the alternative education program for so long that they’re probably immune to calls from school by now. Any advice for me? —Summer school blues

Dear SSB,

Summer school is a tough job. Relationship is key here, and it’s so hard to build in such a short amount of time. I talked to the author and coordinator for teaching direction Dr. Towanda Harris, and she gave me some excellent advice:

“Teaching in summer school is fraught with many unpredictable factors and can hinder your efforts to meet your students’ needs. I think it’s important to reflect on your perception of the situation. As we go along, here are a few tips that can help you:

1. Students benefit greatly from spaces in which they feel seen and heard; However, there are collaborative agreements (classroom expectations) that are created by the teacher and students to make this possible. Find a time during the day to share your expectations with the new student and share how those expectations help other students develop a sense of belonging as you all study together.

2. It sounds like the student is seeking attention and not afraid to lead. Try to use this skill by letting him guide you through an activity or possibly moderating a small group discussion. I fully understand that this may seem a bit cheesy to eighth graders, but when we find ways to celebrate student contribution to the class community, more students begin to embrace their learning. Positive reinforcement is always beneficial.

3. Removing students from class is a patch, not a solution. It seems like the student’s behavior you are describing is one that they use to adapt and cope with a new environment. Of course, this is not what we want our students to do; we must also be empathetic to all of the experiences (both negative and positive) that make them up.

“Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight, but it is important that we as educators reflect and acknowledge our personal prejudices. Understand that you are not alone. It can be helpful to speak to other colleagues to work out different strategies that have worked in similar situations with students. Finally, stay motivated and keep doing what you can to meet your students’ needs. “

Dear WeAreTeacher,
I moved to a new state last year where I took on a special probationary position. It was a very difficult year and I will not be going back to this school. This week when I was trying to do the paperwork, the teacher who will be moving into my classroom started putting her things in the room. I told her that I would most likely be finished by the last day of school. Unfortunately, I couldn’t clear the rest of my belongings, so I told my principal that I would be back for another day. When I came in the next day, all of my personal belongings were stuffed into boxes and put in the hallway. When I asked why, she told me she didn’t think I would come back for her. That woman has my number, and I’ve worked closely with her and the rest of the department. You couldn’t just have waited? Am i expecting too much? —Common courtesy

Dear CC,

I hear your frustration. Especially given the fact that you’re leaving, I understand why what happened to you feels like an insult. I took the job of a teacher once in the middle of the year who was fired, and I was very careful to give her space to clear out her things, although I could have used the extra time in the room.

But I would give your colleague preference in case of doubt. When I told the headmistress Kela Small about your situation, she said: “At the end of the school year, things can go quickly! A day can change someone else’s schedule, so it may have been easier to pack your things so they could move in before school ended for the summer. “

It might help to think about it in a more positive light. Kela continued, “I wouldn’t take it personally – if anything, I’d be happy if all of my things were packed for me!”

Do you have a burning question? Send us an email at askweareteachers@weareteachers.com.

Dear WeAreTeachers: I have just finished my first year of apprenticeship at the age of 33. I teach math at an alternative high school. Maybe it’s since the shutdown last spring, or since I got married, or since I started teaching, but I feel so frumpy! I was a bartender for years, trying to get tips. But my hair has grown since the pandemic and I haven’t colored it in over a year. And then I started teaching high school students, deliberately trying to make myself presentable but not “impressive” if that makes sense? Anyway, I feel like I’ve lost my mojo in the last year or so. How do I get it back?

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