Between report cards, thinking about supply orders, teacher evaluations and staff Christmas parties, it’s very easy to feel overwhelmed, tired, cranky and not creative at all. Does this ring a bell?
Rather than focus on the stress of December, try these tips to help you survive and breeze through this month and feel renewed, energized and ready to go for part two.
Remember creativity is your bread and butter, biggest ally and source of inspiration so you must nurture it, love it and above all protect it.
Are you with me?
Tip # 1: Prioritize
Let’s face it, there’s only so much you can do right? Rather than try to do it all, write down your top three ticket items that you need to do and focus on these. Three is a good number because it’s achievable and doable.
My top three usually were report cards, December art show and supply orders.
Tip # 2: Schedule
Once you identify and know the big rocks you need to tackle, it’s important to schedule time to work on these. Note the words ‘schedule time’. These shouldn’t consume your entire day, thoughts and life! Pick a reasonable and REALISTIC amount of time you want for each. You’re going for quality and not quantity. This way you free up other time and headspace to take care of yourself and stay creative.
What really worked for me was the following schedule that generally kicked in two weeks before Christmas break:
Report cards: two hours a day, scheduled after school (unless I had an after school activity I was leading). I had 3-5 generic comments ready as a base for different grades/abilities and then I would cut and paste and personalize the comment according to my student. Definitely try this hack because all your comments will be unique and different like your students. No one likes cookie cutter comments- especially an awesome and dedicated teacher like you! I liked to start my report card comments from Kinder up.
December art show: I schedule this big baby the last week before the big event by scheduling each class to help me put up their art pieces! Students have to definitely be part of process plus it’s much quicker when everyone is involved. What I also found by including my students is they were more likely to take their parents to see the show- bonus!
Supply orders: I schedule two preps a week for this until the deadline. Gather your supply catalogs and make two lists. Your must have supplies and your wish list after you inventory your stock. The must have’s go first and if you have any money left, add your wish list items.
Tip # 3: Be consistent
It’s really important to stick to your schedule, be consistent with the time you’ve allocated to each and really focus and work. If you decide an hour per day on a certain task, then make sure you are working your tush off that hour. Lock your door if you have to, turn off your cel and do whatever it takes to stay focused! This is the only way to get things done.
So now that your priority list is taken care of its time to fuel up your creativity bank and keep it topped up at full by following the same procedure.
Where do you need a boost in creativity the most? Is in in lesson planning, classroom instruction, engaging your students, displays, and so on? Pick your top three.
As before, dedicate focus time on the areas you need to up your creativity. Find a mentor, read articles, observe another teacher, take a class and teach yourself how to strengthen these areas. Everything in learnable in my books! You can also schedule a coaching session with me for support.
By spending time on the areas that need some extra TLC you’ll discover other things that will get your creativity wheel turning. New insight brings new ideas and energy.
Now if you just want a general boost to get your creativity juices free flowing, as we all do from time to time try these:
- Go for a walk
- Meditate (my favorite!)
- Capture the beauty of simple things in your life with your camera that make you say WOW
- Get SLEEP!! (Lack of Zzz’s is the number one creativity killer)
- Eat healthier by eating more fruits and veggies
- Become besties with Pinterest. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel- just make it better!
- Move that tush! Walk, dance, swim, play tennis- whetever gets you moving hon
Above all, practice gratitude every day and be thankful for the wonderfully creative person you are!!!