Although uncomfortable to admit, sometimes we have to know when to say when. Those of us who teach full-time or are full-time administrators have a primary obligation to our chosen career.
But as we expand our roles outside of the classroom, taking on other leadership responsibilities, it becomes increasingly more challenging to know when to say no.
On Twitter, I complained about how the subtle balance of my life was dangerously off-kilter. A kind soul responded that balance is an illusion. The idea of this illusion has lingered.
As if working in a school isn't hard enough or busy enough, I've had the extreme fortune and success that has brought me outside opportunities that fill in the spaces that my classroom teaching in the school atmosphere has not. Being able to challenge myself in new ways and experience exciting novel tasks that force me outside of my comfort zone is how I continue to learn.
Not so ironically, these outside learning opportunities are making me better at what I do. Having had expanded my PLN, the ever-growing network continues to force me to see things in different ways constantly walking the tight rope. Living on the edge of innovation has made my classroom a more vibrant place.
But all of these great things come with a trade-off (and I'm by no means complaining... just stating for the record), that it is sometimes challenging to do it all without something suffering.
For the first time in a while, I had to say I'm sorry for something I agreed to do because my plate is just too full. I did feel guilty about it, but now that the task is off my plate, I feel much less stressed. It actually felt good to take care of myself, admitting that I took too much on and that it's okay to be honest about how much I could handle.
Check out the below recorded periscope going into more depth about the challenges:
As our profession continues to evolve and more of us get involved in different ways, we need to amend where we spend our time during the day if we want our health to stay good.
It's time for us to reprioritize and really consider the things we continue to do. If it serves us and the children well, I say go for it, but if it doesn't perhaps it's a great opportunity for someone else in a different space. Think of it as you're giving someone else a chance to have that life-changing moment.
It's a real skill to know which situations to say yes to and which ones to let go of, but always try to see the big picture when you make the decision.
Since our roles aren't clearly defined anymore, we must be allowed to set our boundaries and actually ask for help when needed. After all, a seesaw will never be balanced with only one person, it needs the weight of someone else to balance it out.
How do you find equilibrium in the midst of your daily tasks? Please share
*This post originally ran on my Education Week Teacher blog in February 2016