I have made more of a conscious effort to focus on being positive. This means letting go of things that I can't control, in addition to focusing on what makes me happy! I choose to be positive! How do I do this?
First, I leave work at work. I used to be the teacher who carried a bag full of things home with me. I checked my work e-mail and often responded. I recall physically grading papers on Saturday mornings my first couple years of teaching. That later transitioned to using google applications for student assignments. So I didn't have to grade papers and record grades on paper as much. However, I still made lesson plans, calendars, and all sorts of things at home. Life, experience, and my own children soon made me realize that I was giving away my precious personal time that I cannot get back. So I restructured how I operated after I left my school building. I started walking to my car with my purse, and that was it! No heavy bag, no binder... just me!
Second, I stopped taking things personally. You often hear that working with adults is harder than working with children. And in some ways, it is very true. I've worked in very toxic conditions as well as environments that others envied. No matter what chaos or attitudes that have surrounded me, I choose to remain in my bubble of happiness. Understanding that you are in control of yourself and yourself only is so powerful. We cannot change the behavior or decisions of others. But as employees and co-workers, we do have the power to separate ourselves from situations that aren't great for our well-being. Always aligning myself with co-workers who are like-minded and trustworthy has been a life saver in my career.
Third, I think of the things that are spots of positivity at school. Teaching children is truly my joy. Yes, I have days that are challenging. But I love working with students. And I love the flexibility of having a schedule that mirrors my children. Being off at the same time of my children is priceless.
Lastly, I try my best to discover little things that make me happy. Working in any capacity in education can be draining! We encounter so much throughout the work day with other people's children until we are exhausted with our own. I find pockets of time to go to the nail salon, watch a favorite show, or travel. Most importantly, I try to rest. Anyone who truly knows me, knows that I take naps, frequently! Recharging is necessary! Allow time for rest; it's so important.
So, if this school year has been a challenge for you, I hope this post was a sign for you to tough it out and stay! Be flexible, but not abused. Maintain healthy boundaries. And most importantly, focus on what is going well! Be positive; you can do it!