being a teacher, being me, Passion

The Secret To A Happier Teacher, Perhaps

These last few days since publishing my post “There is No Such Thing As Balance” I have been floating around in a relaxed state.  There is something incredibly lethargic about getting it out, pointing out your flaws for the whole world to see and then moving on.  Perhaps we sometimes dwell on things even more than we know.  Perhaps airing our imperfections is not so bad after all, I guess I should know, I have been writing about them for the past 5 years,  However, that has not been the only reason for my better state of mind.  I swear I have found the key to happiness.  A simple one indeed…

Stop volunteering yourself.

Stop saying yes because you feel you should.  Stop saying yes to every single thing that needs someone to say yes to it.  Stop jumping at every single chance you get.  Let others have the chance at doing something, share the opportunities, and save some sanity for yourself.

In the past two days I have stopped saying yes all of the time and my world didn’t crash down on me.  I didn’t become a terrible person, nor did I lose friends.  I stopped saying yes to every single thing that was presented to me, every single opportunity presented.  I stopped saying yes as the very first person because that is what I felt I should and instead said yes to the things I really cared about.  Not a perfect system by any means but one that has saved me a lot of stress.

So say yes when you really want to.  Say yes when you know that it will mean something to you and to others.  Don’t say yes because you feel you have to.  Don’t say yes because it might work out for you.  Save you yes’es for when it really matters. Save your yes for when it should be followed by an “Absolutely!” and give yourself a break.  You deserve it, in fact, we all do.

I am a passionate teacher in Oregon, Wisconsin, USA,  who has taught 4th, 5th, and 7th grade.  Proud techy geek, and mass consumer of incredible books. Creator of the Global Read Aloud Project, Co-founder of EdCamp MadWI, and believer in all children. I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students’ heads every day.  First book “Passionate Learners – Giving Our Classrooms Back to Our Students” can be purchased now.   Second book“Empowered Schools, Empowered Students – Creating Connected and Invested Learners” is out now from Corwin Press.  Follow me on Twitter @PernilleRipp.

3 thoughts on “The Secret To A Happier Teacher, Perhaps”

  1. While I always enjoy reading your blog, I couldn’t agree more with this post. Especially in the beginning of their careers, teachers want to show what team players they are and hope they can increase job security by volunteering for everything from school site councils to dance chaperone to advisor for the Extreme Sports and Crocheting Club. But at some point, as you suggest, it’s important for teachers to conserve their energy (and intellect and wisdom and passion) for the things that really matter to them. So thanks for the excellent post. Here was my take on the same subject (it’s short. . .): Dan P.S. I received this post as an email because you have a new subscriber. 🙂

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