I'm Melisa, and I'm a workaholic. It's true. If you ask my husband, he'll tell you that if I'm not at school, I'm working at a winery. If I'm not at the winery, I'm working on helping put teacher's guides together. If I'm not doing that I'm helping a friend with lesson plans.
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I keep myself busy.
After being on a computer all day though, I needed to step away for a few hours. On Tuesday, I peeled peaches that I had bought over the weekend and canned them along with freezing some to make cobblers later. To the average person, this seems like a pretty boring task or even one that would be at the top of any pioneer woman's to-do list. I'm not usually one to spend hours in the kitchen, so this was a new experience. I had started making jam during quarantine, so this seemed like the next best thing.
On Wednesday, I was given an opportunity to help bottle wine. I'd never done this before, and it was a really cool process! I learned so much, and even though it was pretty routine for everyone else at the winery, I loved it.
Why am I telling you this? Where's the school in all of these mundane tasks? That's just it. There is none.
I'm not one to take the time to do things for me that don't include working. I think like most teachers, I find ways to take school home nearly every night with every intention of working on it. However, with the amount of time I spend on a computer a day due to remote learning and planning for remote learning, I need to step away from a screen more often. I need to think about something other than school, even if it's as boring as peeling peaches for 2 hours. (Yes, 2 hours...I couldn't believe it either.)
I was so proud of my canning peaches that I shared it with my students during our first ever "Feel Good Friday". In the world that we are living in, there is so much negativity around us that it's hard to remember to find the good. My students had made comments all week about how hard it is to learn online and how much work they were getting, so I forced them to find the good. Some of them had things from seeing family members, to celebrating birthdays, to getting new pets. Afterwards, students started asking each other questions about their Feel Good news, and I could see the magic of a community begin to form.
To my fellow teachers, find your Feel Good Friday moments every day. This profession is not easy, and now it has even more challenges. I've found that when I take the time to remind myself to step away, I'm a better teacher because of it. It's the idea of putting on your own oxygen mask before putting on someone else's. We talk about teacher self-care a lot at my school, and it's made me second-guess some of my decisions to take work home.
If you are feeling overwhelmed, know that you aren't alone in your feelings. Reach out to colleagues, family and friends for support. Take a night to unwind from school. Who knows? Maybe you just need to peel some peaches.