It’s been a weird month or two at work. The stress levels have been through the roof and I’ve just been bouncing from one task to the next. It’s been a real punish.

This is a photo taken by a student of mine. I’m the ball.

The major problem is that this is impacting on both my home-life (such as teachers have) and my outlook on the profession. It’s been a trying time and to be honest the people suffering the most have been my family.

The realest moment of all was a discussion I had with my wife where she asked me what my goals were. I think for the first time in my career, I didn’t have any. This was disconcerting and most worrying of all was how this had snuck up on me. I’ve always had goals. Always. I’ve never been one to be satisfied with where I am and I’m certainly not now. I need to work out what it is I want to achieve in my job next. It’s not at all that I want a new job, I love my role immensely but I need to work out how I want to improve and the impact I want to have moving forward.

Why put this down in words and out to the world?

One touchstone that I have managed to come back to again and again – even when it gets this hard – is the joy of giving back to my community of educators that I’ve become a part of and my PLN. This has come about because myself and my various special people in the profession have been unflinchingly honest with what we put out into the world. We put ourselves out there because not only do we get great joy from helping and interacting with others but it helps us. In all of the good times and the hard times in this job, since I found a community online I’ve always felt supported and lifted. I worry about my colleagues who don’t have that extended community and I know how lucky I am to have been embraced through the podcast Teachers Talking Teaching and Australian edupodcasting community (thanks Cameron and the TERpodcast), the Flipped Learning community and generally the people who I interact on daily basis on Twitter and other socials. I’m surrounded by such generous teachers of all levels of experience, systems and backgrounds. As hard as this profession is, this community is the greatest.

Let’s recalibrate and move forward.

I don’t want to go too much into everything that has led to where I am, but I would like to outline some of the steps that I’m going to take to rectify this situation.

  1. Booking a meeting with my various supervisors to outline where I am, and what I need to move forward.
    • This was an excellent idea. I met with my Head of Senior School and Head of Student Wellbeing (that’s the area where I’m in middle management). They are amazing people and I was able to help clarify what I think my next steps are. I don’t know if I’ve got some goals to work towards exactly, but I’ve got the materials now to shape some goals out of.
  2. I’ll be writing here more. I’m especially keen to post more frequently with shorter blogs talking about the things that I’ve been grateful for in the profession. I want to focus on the positive so that I’m fuelled up to smash through the challenges.
  3. I’m going to start blocking out a little more time for the things outside of work that recharge me. I need to do this. At the moment there are several things that = life. My kids, wife and DnD. One night a week is DnD time with friends regardless. No work, not happening, no way. Most teachers work every night, not doing it anymore. One day a weekend – it will be flexible which one – is family time. The other will be a sport day for work (we have sports teams we coach every school term – I don’t mind the six days a week cycle too much). On weekends where sport is on both days, well work just lost another night in the weekdays. I need to play with my kids and not just brush them to the side because I’m busy.
  4. I’m going to make time to work on the things that professionally bring me joy. That’s professional reading and making educational videos. Check out my youtube channel to see what I mean or check out our podcast to hear John and myself talk/laugh about our professional reading.
  5. A significant part of my professional reading is going to involve organisational skills and developing mindful techniques to be aware of the competing interests.
  6. I’m going to make sure that I share the positive moments from my practice. Yes, I will also share the failures and the growth points (hey, that’s what we’re doing here), but I’m going to make sure I share the positives in a way that add to the community. Make sure I’m reminding myself of the good parts. So in that spirit …

Jump in and comment below, let me know if this is helpful. Let me know how you combat the stress – I sure as hell could use all the tips you’ve got. We all could.