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Dr. Dianna Lindsay's picture
After 43 years in my chosen profession, I remain excited, alive, and learning! From an active Twitter Account to blogging, from teaching Constitutional Law to Pre-AP English, from a national winner...
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Time: Invest In Yourself

Time in yourself is time well invested! Reflect on the time you spend each day in essential preparations for others: as a professional, a care-giver, a parent, a spouse, a pet owner, or with a partner in your life, your time is centered on the wellness of others. Caring is the essence of our profession; it is what attracted us to the profession in many instances. Here are some of the best nuggets I can offer you for self-care to remain focused, healthy, and positive. As new teachers, we want you by our sides, not on the floor sick, exhausted or discouraged.
1. Be attentive to your needs- sleeping , exercising, eating, dressing, and general mental health, you need care and love. Don't overdo or under appreciate your need for a healthy balance. Take care of you; then you can give to others. As they say in the airlines, "Place the oxygen mask on yourself, then help those around you."
2. Be attuned to the rhythms and life cycle events of our profession-"to everything there is a season" and you need to be part of those seasonal events such as football, basketball, pep rallies, retreats, term paper deadlines, vacations, religiousholidays, AP examinations, SAT/ACT weekend testing, and family vacation plans. Stop fighting them; help others to do the same. Family and school partnerships are joint commitments not to step on each other's turf. Stop obsessing over what you can't control and starting by respecting the circle of life. It has always been here and will continue long after your teaching career is complete! Teach kids time management as you give homework assignments, long-term assignments, and tests. Follow your own good lessons too!
3. Be flexible in your planning-no plan is perfect so keep refining yours and remember that busy students carry heavy loads inside and outside of the academic day. Students will make choices; you must do the same. Work on one professional strategy a month; you and your students will grow from this commitment. You can't be an eight year veteran teacher in eight months but you can be eight times better in April than you were in September.
4. Be visionary in your beliefs and ideals-every teacher has a vision for the year. Don't be afraid to express it, assess it and possess it in a variety of positive ways. Ask others to help you with your "elevator speech" ; ask students for feedback on how things are going in "our class"; and, ask a trusted colleague to converse with you about the vision you are expressing for a dip-stick on its reality and progress. Many jaded faculty members hide their vision in veiled sarcasm; release yours daily into the classroom and create a positive environment of risk-taking and trust! This is time well invested in your happiness as a new teacher!