Friends...it is Fall. I love this time of year for the crisp, cool weather, the changing colors of the trees, football season in full swing and the smell of a distant fire creeping to my nose. Fall kicks off the busiest of holiday seasons for folks of all walks of life and there are so many ways to be involved with our kids and families this time of year.
But, let's be real. Fall (specifically October/November) kicks teachers' b**ts!!!! What starts off in August and early September as a year full of promise of great achievement for the students turns in to the biggest reality check of the school year. The moment comes for each teacher (ok, and each principal who's honest) when she (I don't have any men on my staff right now) realizes....OMG! I can't get all this stuff done! Oh, and the honeymoon is over for the students too. Routines start to become REALLY routine (read...boring) and the enthusiasm and excitement that starts off the year seems but a distant memory. Kids are testing the boundaries, the emails and calls from parents are less supportive and more questioning, and the paperwork - don't even get me started!
So stress doesn't exactly bring out the best in people. Tempers flare and little things become a major dramatic production. No less than three times last week I had to pull a staff member aside and have a pretty challenging conversation. Yuck, yuck, yuck! I feel like I need to hang a sign over my office that says, "Psychiatrist 5 cents!"
But here is the thing, friends. Fall Happens. Every year. October comes in, fooling us with its cool temperatures and fall foliage, only to trick us into believing we have no control over how things go in our lives. But wait, that is where the Trick in Trick or Treat comes in! It is just a trick, because the only control we actually do have during stressful times is the choice of our attitudes. And, last time I checked, no one suffered serious death or injury by working in a school during October! We will survive, and even thrive, just by choosing an "I can do this" attitude.
And this applies to me as much as every teacher out there. You feel dumped upon...we principals do to. Big deal - it's just part of the job. Don't fall for it - be the difference maker and the sign of hope for all others. Just be that superhero that our kids need - that is the best morale booster I know!