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.