Did you know that a lot of research has been done on educator energy dips. Between Halloween and Christmas is one of the lowest dips for educators. A study done for the Beginning Teacher program in California(BTSA) found that beginning teachers go through several stages during the year. It has been my experience that many of these stages apply to all educators regardless of your role or experience. Here is a graphic describing the phases:
It’s really time to take care of yourself. You know what that means: eat right, exercise(even just a little will help), sleep,etc! When school starts we are all usually filled with excitement and energized by the challenge of the new year. It takes so much energy to get everything up and running. If you are an administrator, for example, you spend countless hours organizing everything, keeping things under control, building supportive and caring relationships and monitoring and adjusting everything. If you are a teacher, you have spent the last three months creating a classroom climate that functions smoothly. You started with nothing and made it happen. This is exhausting. You most likely have come a long way teaching and reinforcing rules and procedures as well as creating a climate that is rich in productive and positive relationships. You may also not be quite where you need your students to be. This can be discouraging. It seems like you are rolling a boulder up hill! November and December can be trying times in schools.
If you can, take a little time to reflect. Work on your own growth mindset! Monitor your own self-talk just as you do for your students or staff. Perhaps you could employ the power of YET!
My students do understand multiplying fractions yet!
My classroom does not function as smoothly as possible yet!
My staff is not functioning as a productive Professional Learning Community yet!
You might also try creating your own set of beliefs that can serve as guideposts for improving your practice.
I believe that through practice, perseverance and hard work my students will learn.
I believe that I can encourage my students to accept challenges.
I believe that I can create a climate where my students will take risks and learn from mistakes.
Every classroom, school, district and state has unique sets of problems, issues and challenges. We have to remember that we can only create change though our circle of influence, but it may be bigger than we think.