In my last post, I talked about some things I am looking to quit in 2016. It really has me thinking, “What has quitting given me more time to explore?”. In the next few blog posts, I will be sharing what I am using my time to work on in 2016. One area that I am focusing on in the new year is my person.
Over the past year or so, my daily routine hasn’t afforded me time to focus on my well being. Before becoming an administrator, I usually exercised around 4 times a week. I used to be an avid runner, sometimes clocking 10 miles a day. It made my feel more energized, more centered, and definitely helped my focus and concentration. Obviously, I don’t spend hours running anymore but I am working to incorporate more activity in my daily routine. Last week, I did a quick Piyo workout and it instantaneously improved my mood.
When I say I really want to work on “my person”, I don’t just mean my physical self. I think it is important to remember to feed your interests and passions in order to lead a full life. Gardening, getting outside and growing something always helps me feel accomplished. A few summers ago, I taught myself how to can. It was really gratifying to grow my own vegetables or fruit and turn them into pickles, jam, or homemade ketchup. I could feed my family from our garden all year round. Jam made from blueberries grown in your backyard ALWAYS tastes better than store bought Welch’s grape jelly. This year, I have made a commitment to learn to keep bees. Although I am just one person on the Earth, I can do little things to make all of our lives better. Working under the guidance of Chuck Pressler from Bucks County Apiaries, I ordered my bees a few weeks ago and will install them at our new farmhouse in late April. I am absolutely terrified, but really excited to delve into a new learning. More to come on my beekeeping experiences in later posts! The best teachers I have worked with bring their passions and energy to the classroom. They understand that it is important to share their own interests and encourage their students to do the same. You know these classrooms because you can hear and see the energy exuding from everyone in the room.
I am not super religious. I grew up going to Catholic school, but transferred to public school my freshman year in high school. For me, going to church isn’t about saying the prayers and sitting/ standing/ sitting again/ kneeling/ sitting again. It is about taking time out of the hectic week to give thanks for the many blessings I have in my life. Lately, I have been getting away from this time. It isn’t necessary to recite prayers, but spending a few minutes everyday in quiet reflection will help me maintain a positive outlook.
Teachers carry an enormous responsibility on their shoulders each day. We are tasked with teaching young people the skills they need to be productive members of society. In order to accomplish this mighty feat, we need to take care of ourselves. Last year, one of the special education teachers at my high school became interested in Mindfullness. He started offering sessions to teachers and students, who now sit side by side in quiet reflection. It has caught on like wildfire. As pressures on us continue to mount and stressors appear around every corner, remind yourself to take time for you.
I would love to hear some ways that you are working on taking care of “your person” in 2016! Please share in the comments. What interests and passions are your pursuing in this new year and how are you bringing it to your classroom?