I have already fallen prey to a common trap. For the past 24 hours, I've been completely overwhelmed. There's a lot going on in my head right now:
- I am trying to maintain good standing in my current job and give it my all.
- I have been trying to find time to drive for Uber and Lyft to make extra income
- I'm trying to start this blog
- I'm trying to upload Spanish material for an online course
- I'm trying to lesson plan for next year's classes
- I'm trying to stay in shape
My lack of progress in these areas created in me feelings of hopelessness, anger, fear, and doubt. Luckily today through "the Happiness Advantage" I realized the source of those feelings. I was lost in my perceived lack of control and everyone needs to feel like they have some sort of control.
Sean Achor (the author) suggests that to feel like you have control again, you should
1. Write down your feelings.
2. Write down what you can control and what you cannot.
3. Take small and consistent steps to change.
Note: It's important to realize that you can never have total control. It's more important to realize that your identity is not based on what you can and cannot control.
Just breaking down my goal into bitesize manageable steps has already made me feel better. The application of this is not only for busy teachers. Students can feel overwhelmed as well. Imagine trying to keep up with 5 to 6 classes at a time and still have energy for after school activities. I also have to factor that my students, even in the most functional homes, have home dynamics (sometimes referred to as drama) to deal with.
It's easy to see when students are overwhelmed...slumped shoulders, messed up hair, audible sighs (I love high schoolers :) ) So, something I'm going to implement this next school year is when I see my students stressed, I'll to stop class. Then, we will write how we feel, write what we can control and what we cannot, and write one step we can take to see change.
What do you do when you see students overwhelmed?