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“I’m tired.” This simple, honest statement was made by a teacher in my elementary building at a recent committee meeting. The teacher’s comment was echoed by others in the committee, and to be honest, was echoed by me as well.
February and March are long months, and not just for teachers, students, and principals in dreary central Pennsylvania at this time of year either. Last year I spoke with a principal and assistant principal in sunny California. Interestingly enough I discovered that their school year calendar is very similar to ours and that they acknowledged the same fatigue during this time of year. While I was a bit shocked to hear this, it made me feel comforted a bit, too. And I couldn’t help but think of this conversation when one of my teacher’s said, “I’m tired,” and what I need to do after hearing that.
So with all of us feeling tired, I need to refocus my efforts and energy, and by that I mean focus on my teachers’ needs and my students’ needs for this time of year. I need to continue to be out of my office and be visible throughout the school in the hallways, cafeteria, classrooms, and on bus duty. I need to take my mobile desk, stock it with some goodies, and get out. I need to not ask anything new from my teachers, and let them do their jobs. When they ask for support, I need to be there for them. I need to find a few teachers to give a #GoodNewsCallOfTheDay to, and have a faculty meeting where the only thing on the agenda are just coffee and donuts. And who knows maybe play some 90’s one hit wonders in the mornings, too.
Students need support from me, too. One of my favorite things to do is use the 2×10 technique. That is just talk to a student for two minutes a day for 10 days about whatever he or she wants to talk about. The more students I can be around, the better. Another great way to connect with students is to do some flash card fun in the cafeteria with them. Play a little, “Around the World” and throw in some special guest contestants like a cafeteria worker, a teacher, or even a SRP, and play a quick pick up game of one on one. It is after all March, and with that comes March Madness!
Again, it comes back to being out of the office and interacting with as many as I can in positive ways.
Anything that I can do, not anyone else, to help bring some excitement and energy into the building, along with offering additional support, without asking anything more from my teachers or students is what my focus needs to be for February and March. By refocusing my efforts on the needs of my staff and students specifically at this time of year, hopefully February and March will be a little bit easier for my teachers and students who are working so hard this time of year.
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