Begin Sharpening Your Saw

I decided to write next week’s “Nudge” a little early.  Since we won’t be here Monday I think you’ll see why I chose to write today.

This is a crazy time of year.  There are tons of things going on and we’ve been working hard for these first 14 weeks of the semester, with only a few left to go.  We’re all tired, stressed, and run down.  Sickness is becoming more common for staff and students.  

This three-day weekend couldn’t be more needed than it is right now.

The late Stephen Covey, perhaps most famous for his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, was a huge proponent of “Sharpening the Saw”.  Basically, the idea is that if you are working to cut down a tree with a dull saw, then you’re not going to get very far.  The same is true of us as educators.  If you’re run down, unbalanced, and not well, then you’re not able to be your best for our students.  

“Sharpening the Saw” isn’t something that can happen over night, or even a three-day weekend, but it is a process of finding balance in your life.  Physically (working out, sleeping well, eating well), Mentally (growing as a professional and personally), and Spiritually (finding time to connect to what is important in your spiritual life)…these are all essential parts of “sharpening the saw”.  By finding the time to do the work you need to do to be best for our kids, while also finding the time to be balanced in these other areas allows you to maintain a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle.

Take this three-day weekend to recharge a bit, get some rest and find the time for the things that make you happy.  Maybe that is sleeping in and eating ice cream like I always say to our students or perhaps it means checking things off your “to-do list”.   No matter if it’s one of those or something else, take the time to relax and enjoy this weekend.  Look at this weekend as a starting point for establishing that balanced lifestyle but also as a chance to recharge your batteries in preparation for the final push to Semester Break.

Sleep, rest, relax, and recharge…you deserve it!

 

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Maintaining Balance in a Hectic Life

This past week I had to stay home sick, something I don’t do very often.  I know why I got sick.  It wasn’t some bad fish, it wasn’t because I went outside with wet hair (although the dunk tank surely didn’t help), it was because I hadn’t done a good enough job of taking care of myself and finding balance in my life.  I pushed my body too far and it finally gave-in to something I would’ve normally fought off.  

It’s easy to do, push ourselves too far.  We’re all dedicated professionals who work hard to help our students become successful.  We also like to have our own lives.  In my case, I normally spend the weekends resting and relaxing.  I do some reading, cooking, and try to get outside a few times to enjoy the weather and this beautiful country.  That recharges my batteries or, as Stephen Covey used to say, helps me “sharpen the saw”.  However, these last few weeks I didn’t do that very well (owing to traveling for AASSA and a full day at the We Are Ecuador event) and the result was me getting knocked back so far that I needed a day in the middle of the week to recover.

What do you do to help make sure that you lead a balanced and healthy life?  Getting plenty of exercise is certainly important but, as I realized after last week, exercising while your body is trying to fight off sickness might not be the best idea.  We have to know when to slow down and pull back on our regular routines.  Whether it’s skipping a Tuesday night Zumba class in favor of lounging on the couch to give your body some rest or postponing a weekend trip to climb Fuya Fuya, we have to recognize when our bodies are nearing a breaking point.

I want to keep this short and sweet this week.  Take some time for yourself to make sure you’re feeling recharged and fresh for our students…more importantly, for you!  Step back and ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success for this last downhill run, we’re almost to summer…take care of yourselves and it will be here before you know it 🙂

Sharpen Your Saw

Both of my sisters are educators in America and they’ve just finished their first four days of school, having started on Tuesday, and I’m seeing/hearing lot’s of rejoicing to have reached their first weekend.  For us it’s a different story, we’ve been back almost a month now!  So, I want to say congratulations and more importantly, “thank you!”, to everyone for a great start to the school year.  We’ve settled in and the students are off and running, it’s a great atmosphere around campus.

We’ve all been going a million miles an hour since we started back in the beginning of August.  Many of you have been into work early and stayed late every day since we’ve been back.  You’ve been working extremely hard to help prepare yourselves and your students for a wonderfully successful school year.  I know your students won’t say it, so I will say it on their behalf, THANK YOU!!!

Now, something else your students won’t say to you…make sure you stay balanced.  If you’re anything like me, then you’ve gotten yourself a little off balance in the last few weeks.  Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People includes in his habits what he calls “sharpening the saw”.  In short, the idea behind this is that if you work yourself so hard that your ‘saw’ becomes dull than you will become an ineffective teacher for your students.  It is crucial to keep yourself fresh, healthy, and energized in order to be successful with your students.

So for those of you who are like me and have become a little too committed at the beginning of the school year please take this message to heart.  This three-day weekend couldn’t be coming at a better time, take advantage of it and find a way to sharpen your saw.  It’s a great opportunity to get out of town (even for one night), start that work out program you’ve been putting off, cook a nice home-cooked meal, or have a lazy Saturday…do whatever you need to relax a bit and refresh yourself.

Thank you for all that you’ve done to make this beginning of the school year a successful one for all of your students.  Enjoy your much deserved weekend!