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Staying Focused When You Just Want to Chill …

Back in my early years of teaching, one of my bosses pulled me aside one day and said,  “Rosemarie, I don’t want you to be a great teacher.  I want you to just be a good enough teacher.”  Now, this is not normally what you would expect your boss to say regardless of your profession.  Thankfully, she explained, “The challenge for you is not coming up with ideas.  You have lots of ideas!  But, rather than try to implement them all, I want you to choose just ONE & try it out for awhile.”  She had realized that in my enthusiasm to become the best teacher possible, I was burning myself out.  This is advice I have done my best to embrace for the past decade.

Staying Focused When You Just Want to Chill

Back in January, I had listened to a podcast on 100 days of Goal Setting with Amy Porterfield & John Lee Dumas.  While it was much more business & sales focused than I had wanted, it did give me some framework for making shorter goals rather than over sweeping goals for the whole academic year.  I would highly recommend listening to the podcast since there are many great ideas than can be modified to fit a studio setting.

At the end of June, I listened to another podcast entitled “How Can Teachers Work Just 40 Hours A Week?” by Vicki Davis.  I think you would be hard pressed to find ANY teacher who would not be drawn to a title like that.  The tagline “Find life balance & get your weekends back” cinched it for me.  While her ideas were based on Angela Watson’s 40-Hour Teacher Workweek Club (which I am not a member of at this point), I loved how actionable it was for teachers.  Especially going into summer.  I created a list of my end of summer vision for home, business, & professional development.  The list was comprised of 13 goals & was focused on setting myself up for a great start in the Fall, including the routines that fell by the wayside this last year that I would like to re-incorporate for this year.

For the past 3 weeks, I have been participating in The Inner Circle 4-Week Challenge.  Over the school year I find it much easier to focus on a project because there is a definite deadline.  But, over the summer the projects build up & it is easy to flit from one to the next without truly completing anything.  What I loved about this challenge was:

  • 4 weeks is a short enough time that I can be hyper focused on a task, but long enough to make significant progress.
  • I was able to take the goals I already had & break them down even further
  • It is a holistic approach to planning: pedagogy (2 goals), technology (1 goal), business (1 goal), & health/life/social (2 goals).

Staying Focused When You Just Want to Chill …

How has your summer planning come along?  Has it been all play & no work?  Or, perhaps the other way around?

I would love to hear from you in the comment box below!


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