learn to say no | The Journal of Quebec

Every new school year I look forward to seeing my colleagues again. People have carefree smiles, humor is in the spotlight, the staff room is full of energy.

Let’s just say that the summer holidays allowed to recharge the batteries of all these beautiful people. A “must” because a school year is like a marathon. It’s long. There are times when it rolls and others when it hurts.

You need to know how to manage your race if you want to cross the finish line. And if your race starts when you’re physically and mentally fit, there’s a chance you’ll start a little too quickly.

Battery life

Before students arrive, teachers (or staff) are asked to take on a new project or assignment, or to join a committee. At the moment, several teachers are enthusiastically adding extras to their regular assignments.

But it’s risky to think of yourself as the Energizer Bunny.

August’s spontaneous “yes” can turn into a nightmarish “why did I say yes?” during the fall. Taking on too much responsibility and being too ambitious can lead to burnout in November.

In this context, my colleague Hugo Laplante offered me a reading for the occasion: Not again! How not to overexert yourself this year.

Whether you are a teacher or not, I invite you to read this text.

According to the author, one of the most consistent predictors of teacher turnover is the overwhelming number of additional tasks they take on, such as serving on various committees or performing administrative tasks. These non-teaching roles have only increased in recent years.

Experts say it’s important to set clear boundaries at the start of the school year and prioritize specific tasks to avoid stress and burnout later.

learn to say no

Also according to the author, the teacher should ask themselves a few questions to determine if a task is worth their time:

– Does this commitment allow me to use my strengths to help others?

– Will it help my professional development?

– Will accepting this obligation affect my ability to meet my current obligations?

– What can I remove from my plate before adding something new?

In addition to your own way of thinking, it is also advisable to consult a colleague with whom you can exchange ideas before accepting a new position.

Teaching is a humanly demanding profession. Teaching requires, among other things, empathy, generosity and attention. Not surprisingly, there are a large number of “natural caregivers” in our community.

“The main problem with teachers is that they’re always trying to please everyone.” – Kitty Boitnott

To my esteemed colleagues, whom I would call volunteers at heart, take care of yourselves!

We want to see you cross the finish line.

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