In the spring, we suddenly had the added schedule item of "office hours." We tried to make ourselves available for our students and parents. And now, this year, as we begin the year remote, our "office hours" can at times feel like they are taking over our lives. I know I have spoken to some of you and you are making calls to parents late at night or you are answering tech questions and brainstorming over the phone throughout the day or you are up early responding to the never ending emails. During this new way of teaching, our jobs can easily become 24/7.
But that is not sustainable. That is certainly not an expectation, being available at every hour of the day. And it has the potential to very quickly burn us all out.
So I propose a new requirement. I am calling this new expectation "family hours." I expect that we all set aside some time each day designated to "family hours." During this part of our schedule, we cannot answer emails, we cannot call parents, we cannot plan lessons. This is a time to do something for yourself unrelated to work. This is a time to spend with your family. This is a time for you to fill your emotional cup back up.
I need to be the example. I need to model "family hours" for all of you. I recognize that I will have a mental breakdown if I continue to physically leave work, but mentally keep bringing it home with me. I plan on scheduling this time on my calendar so that I have a visual reminder to focus on self care every single day. I am thinking I may even add it to my email signature so everyone knows. I propose that you all do the same thing. Give yourself the time. I need you and our students need you this whole year, through the good, the bad and the ugly. Set some limits. Do not work 24/7. Schedule in "family hours."
You are the best staff around. I expect the best and want the best. You don't want or deserve what's left of me. So I don't want what's left of you. Time to reinvent our office hours. Family hours. Pencil it in. Schedule it into Google calendar. Turn off your notifications. Take care of you.
I am almost done with the book Roll With It. There are a lot of topics that it deals with like physical disabilities, poverty, divorce, and the main topic, Alzheimer's. I didn't realize how close to home this book would hit.
Events this week:
Tuesday - Liz G will be a panelist for an MASCD Webinar on Educator Self Care - you can register if you are interested at Bit.ly/mascd929, School Committee Meeting @ 6:30
Wednesday - Half day of school, Staff meeting @ 12:30, TpT training @ 2:00
Thursday - We made it to October!
Staff Check In:
Feel free to fill out this optional Monday morning staff check-in form.
Check it out:
This was an interesting article that I read in August and meant to share with all of you: https://elemental.medium.com/your-surge-capacity-is-depleted-it-s-why-you-feel-awful-de285d542f4c