Unshakeable Book Study- Learn to Say NO Without the Guilt

If you read my post yesterday, then you already no I have trouble saying "no" to things at school. Maybe I already posted about 2 years ago when I taught 1st grade, was on 2 district committees one of which was creating a Common Core pacing guide for all three trimesters of 1st grade. That "committee" was me and one other teacher. I also was the advisor for Student Council, which I'd never done but thought would be fun and it was. I also took on the task of decorating the 2 hallway display cases on either side of the cafeteria building. They were consistently empty and that bugged me so I decided to do that rather than be annoyed at looking at an ugly space every day. While all of that was pretty enjoyable, it took away from tons of personal time with my family, my blog, exercise, reading, etc. Reading chapter 6 of Angela Watson's book Unshakeable is just what I needed! 

Angela was a classroom teacher and now writes and is an educational consultant. She's been in my/our shoes and clearly knows exactly what it's like. Chapter 6 is called Learn to Say "No" Without the Guilt and Make Your "Yes" Really Count. She brings up the point that everything you say "yes" to means you're saying "no" to something else. I'd never thought about it that way before. She writes,"When you start to feel guilty about saying no, remember what you're effectively saying yes to. Saying "no" to a colleague means saying "yes" to time for relaxing that evening." She calls decisions like these "honorable, worthwhile decisions." Thank you for that, Angela!

Next year my goal is to only take on projects/committees/events that I truly enjoy and feel make a direct impact on helping other teachers enjoy teaching or my students enjoy being at school. I WILL be more careful to protect my time right after school so that I'm doing lesson plans and prep then and making my health and sanity a high priority. It will be hard not to feel guilty about some things, but I'll try to remind myself about what I am saying yes to.

Things I want to say YES to more often:
1. Time to walk more days than not. I really enjoy walking as my major form of exercise but when I'm at school until close to 5pm every day there's not enough time. 
2. Time in the evening with my husband cooking dinner or watching tv without also doing school work or having my mind preoccupied with school thoughts all evening.
3. Time to read and blog which I find relaxing and which help make me happy. And I know my loving family and friends much prefer happy, relaxed Chrissy to stressed out, preoccupied Chrissy.

Angela has several other great ideas for learning to say no without the guilt including how to say no to parents, how to soften the blow of saying no, and even prepared responses to make it easier to say "no" to additional commitments.

I'd love to hear from others like me: What do you find it hard to say "no" to things at school? What do you say "yes" to? 

Chapters 7 & 8 are being hosted over the next 2 days by Sandy from Ramblings of a 5th Grade Teacher.
Fearless in Fifth

To read about previous chapters, check out Cassie and Jessica's fabulous posts!


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  2. I have learned to say no but I am afraid that many of my colleagues have not learned to 'hear' the word NO. Twice last year (yes only 2x) I had to say no *once to my principal, once to the principals assistant. I had to say no for health reasons- despite my explaining that I just couldn't 'do it' this tiime -and despite saying yes a dozen or more other times that year -they were indignant. I was the victim of nasty comments, lack of support, missed planning time (many!), refusals on requests, cold shoulder, etc. Yes people, saying no can be hard...especially if you work with 'takers'...but ultimately I know I made the right choice. As for the attitude, it is their issue not mine.

  3. Chrissy, I am not taking part in this book study but as I am reading through your posts I have to say I think it is a book I'd love to read. I really connected to this post as saying no just isn't something that comes easily for me. The last 2 years my husband and I have been living abroad and so I haven't been in the classroom. I have truly missed being close to home and being in the classroom but have to say because there aren't many times when I have to say "yes" here, I am finding that I am very happy. I have time to workout, enjoy trying out new recipes, spend the evenings catching up with my husband etc. I know when we head back to San Diego next April and I start working again I will struggle with not being able to say no and it is a goal of mine to find that balance so that I can both be happy and do things I want to do. I really like the "saying no means saying yes" to something else thought, it just really puts things in to perspective. Loved reading this! Thanks! #TpTCATribe

    Lattes and Lunchrooms

  4. I loved this! I need to exercise more too, I'm always saying I don't have time. I just have to do it!
    I've learned to say no, and not feel guilty as I've gotten older. Sometimes you just have to prioritize!
    Thanks for doing this book study with me. I'm learning so much!

  5. I have the opposite problem. I've gotten too good at saying no these last three years. I'm feeling guilty about that! Haha! Next year I'm going to say yes to coaching the girls basketball team. Wish me luck...I haven't played in 30 years.


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