There are times when I really just want to quit. And so today, I did. Not what you are thinking – I didn’t walk away from my job. I actually took a really big step toward it. As you may know, I have really been struggling with my class this year for a variety of reasons – all of which wear me down daily. I have a bad habit of saying ‘yes’ more than I should. I have the time to do more than more and I like to be able to lighten the load for my fellow staff members. But I am really, really overextended and getting so little support and appreciation for just how much I offer. So tonight, I said ‘no’.
In an effort to regain some balance and to get myself back on the track that I love, I will only say ‘yes’ to what directly involves me with my students. I am not going to help out on building wide planning committees, or take sub time away from my class to view another school’s program. I am not going to double book meetings on days when my homework club meets. I am not going to take time away from this year’s students to plan for next year’s.
I am going to prioritize my 29 kids over everything else for these last months of school. I am going to be wholly present for the tutoring that I do every Wednesday. I am going to be wholly available to support my fellow teachers during my planning time when my students are struggling to be successful in specials. I am going to be wholly present to plan for the substitute who will be working next door for the next three weeks as we shuffle staff to meet the needs of a special student. I am going to be wholly present for my students.
And I am going to tell myself that it is ok, sometimes, to say ‘no’.