This entry is the sixth post in the series #TchWellness.
Every September, my desk and office space begin as blank canvases. As I purchase supplies and create materials, I place each item in an organized location. However, as the year progresses, I’m often overwhelmed by paperwork, post-it notes, books to read, projects to complete, and more. Somewhere in all of this, my desk becomes a space for my expansive educational collections and to-do lists rather than a clean, organized retreat where I can mentally focus and be creative.
It’s not just my physical space that gets cluttered. Taking on too many activities creates a calendar that’s often void of lunch breaks. It’s almost as if I’m a child at a buffet, filling my plate with everything, but only able to take a few bites before I’m completely full. As such, the numerous responsibilities and the seemingly endless to-do lists create a reality where I’m not able to focus on the macro or micro aspects of my work.
In response to this physical and mental clutter, I’m using the end of December to process what it would look like to live with less and to narrow the projects I’m working on so I can be more focused and productive. Sure, I love surrounding myself with math supplies, but if they’ve gone unused for five years it may be time to find them a new home. I love being involved in every opportunity that comes my way, but how engaged can I be when there isn’t much energy left to give?
As I clear my mental and physical spaces, I become more physically healthy as well. I eat cleaner foods, keep on top of housework, and feel a general sense of calm over the pace of my life.
This month, join us on #TchLIVE to make some commitments to what you’ll be leaving behind in 2017 — be it an instructional strategy, lunchroom complaining, or the unused textbooks and trinkets of yesterday — as well as what you’ll commit to doing in the new year to improve your teacher wellness.
Let’s share and commit to a plan that allows you to start the new year with focus and clarity. Join me Thursday, December 15th at 6 pm EST / 3 pm PST at #TchLIVE!
Crystal Morey is a K-6 instructional coach in Kent, Washington. Crystal spent the past seven years teaching middle level mathematics. She’s a strong advocate of inquiry based mathematics instruction, as well as increasing student voice in the classroom. Crystal has partnered with a variety of organizations on projects, including Illustrative Mathematics, Washington STEM, and the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Washington State. When not teaching, Crystal is a mom to two energetic children. She utilizes her many life experiences to speak about the challenges and opportunities many educators face. Connect with Crystal on Twitter: @TheMathDancer.