Recently (like earlier today), I was on a flight home and the following instruction from the flight attendant really woke me up.
In the case of an emergency please secure your own air mask first before helping others.
Wow-do I fail at those instructions in life….all the time.
Earlier this week we were reviewing the master schedule at the middle school. Due to some room movements, we scheduled in the small principal’s office. Before I even set down my backpack questions were flying, and I was frazzled. By the end of the day I realized I had misplaced multiple pieces of paperwork, hadn’t responded to any emails, did not sign the pile of time sheets and purchase orders that was left for me, and went home exhausted and defeated.
Later that night I reflected on my error-I didn’t put my mask on first. Instead of setting my backpack down (in a place I would remember it), stepping into another office and taking 15 minutes to get the email, budget and meeting with secretary completed I raced to help everyone else first-and in the end wasn’t great for anyone.
Being a selfless educator means at times we feel guilty about self-care. But in the end if you don’t prioritize yourself-everyone performs at less than 100%.
So the next time you want to jump in, help out, or support another teacher…just make sure you have taken care of yourself first.
What my quadrants of balance look like this week: