Sunday, October 25, 2015

Time to Recalibrate: Retail Therapy isn't Real Therapy

Are you Christmas shopping yet? I am.

Last year was the first year I used the internet to shop. This year, I have already ordered.

Work has created enough anxiety for me recently, that agonizing over presents and prices is not something I want to do!

I have had my eye on the "perfect" gifts for my nieces for a month now. They are Animal Babies. Link to the giraffe I went into the store and there was a sale on the item, but the store did not carry the giraffe, nor the white tiger. I went to the store's website and they did not list all of their on-shelf items, and not even a whisper of these particular toys. So, it was back to my amazon cart; always faithfully holding these items for me. I found better prices and clicked "proceed to checkout". Done.

How did I unwind this weekend?

I went to a concert. The parking garage had me on edge. I'm NOT a parking garage person. I don't have much experience with these 'city' things! But I did okay.

Colton Dixon

Britt Nicole

Toby Mac and Hollyn
It was so much fun! I took my sister and youngest son. It was his first concert. Mommy-son bonding time! Plus, I have always wanted to go to a Toby Mac concert. Always. I get to check this off my bucket list. <3 p="">
How should I be unwinding?


At the concert, I was reminded of my dreams and desires. I threw off the anxieties and pressures of late, and I was open to listening to my heart instead of my mind. We were asked what our dreams were and challenged to live what we love and have a passion for.

With all the depression and anger and anxiety at work, I have been seeking solace in retail therapy; getting items for my classroom, for my nieces for Christmas, and even needed clothes for my boys. I have also been watching Netflix shows and Hulu, and I have been reading. None of these are real therapy. None of these solve any problems, push me forward, nor help me reach my dreams. They are escapist, avoidance behaviors.

I haven't been writing. Not a blog, not a letter, not a ficlatté. I have worked on them sporadically, but not like earlier in the year.

I have felt more like a lost soul than ever.

That's not right.

This is not me.

It's time to re-calibrate.

I'm beginning here. I wrote this blog post. I am going to finish a letter to my friend. Then I'm going to open up Ficlatté in a web browser and type something. ( I'm going to reclaim myself. Writing is a way to deal with the feelings. Most of my dreams and goals are author-related. My empathetic being cannot keep pouring myself out to my students, my tutoring students, and my family, and never fill myself back up.

I need to dream, to live, to love, and to be happy again. My therapy, real therapy, is inside; and is expressed through writing, journaling, and drawing.

This is who God made me.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Learning from My Mistakes: Being a Good Leader

I've been VERY busy with school. I have had to make some significant changes to my classroom schedule including adapting for a new student and making changes required by my supervisor. I have begun to deal with the changes that giving my students a Standardized Test which pulls me away from teaching for at least a whole day have wrought upon my schedule. Schedules and plans are the center of my day.
It's also been stressful with adults in my room, my support team, not supporting me. Sometimes it is completely justified, and sometimes it is not. I'm human. I make mistakes. I fall for manipulations, I break things, I forget things, and I get distracted.

I'm on the comeback from some of those mistakes. The student who was such trouble the first 7 weeks is responding to the changes I have made. My support team has been able to de-stress about me and my leadership and again supported me.

I need to find a way to thank them. I need to thank them all year.

But most of all, I need to learn that to be a good leader, I have to be mean sometimes.
I have to change schedules, making some changes that people won't like. Secondly, I have to take their criticism of my actions less personally. That's the hardest for me. I take so much personally. I have cried, lost sleep, and stressed out hard over these personal attacks which I have made worse on myself.

I learned 3 things.

First, that I have to stop explaining my actions and do things to show them I am trying and working. I always want to be an example, but I can't see myself and how I appear to others. I may be doing my job, but appear to be sitting, observing, avoiding, ignoring, or even procrastinating. I have to work with the students, with a clipboard, with a visual schedule right there in front of my class.

Second, their opinions are often skewed. I may be falsely accused. It is far better to talk to me, ask me, and trust that I am telling the truth. Once, one of my staff felt that I was a liar and all my defensive answers to her questions were covering up the truth. They were not. It's hard to convince someone you are being honest when all they hear are lies. In this instance, I was able to later acknowledge her claim, bring evidence that I was not lying, and she had cooled off enough to accept my defense as truth.

Lastly, if I need to confront them, I have back-up in my supervisors. I can present the issue to them and take heart in the fact that I don't have to fight this battle alone. They will intervene if necessary and they will do so tactfully. I hope my 'bosses' are leaders, as I haven't given them the change to 'develop' me and 'coach' me as the pic above defines.