Sounds like the beginning of a Biblical story, doesn’t it. In reality, though, it’s just the approximate length of the rest of the school year.
But that’s Biblical enough, isn’t it my Zen Teacher frirends?
And while many of us have found ourselves at the end of certain school years limping and gasping to the finish line, there are ways to count down to June with our sense of focus, simplicity, and tranquility in tact. Think of how much nicer the end of the year might be if we added even a modicum of mindfulness.
Here are twenty-five possibilities:
1. When you’re teaching, teach. Be where you are.
2. Identify one thing you love about your job, your school, your staff, or yourself. Celebrate it.
3. Meditate and/or take time to breathe (even if it’s only for five minutes).
4. Give reaching out to that “troubled” child another go. You never know!
5. Find time for stillness—whether inside the sanctuary of your home or outside in the sanctuary or nature. Or both.
6. Clean something in your classroom that hasn’t been cleaned in ages. Make it shiny.
7. Remember your Zen Practice and partake in it--whether it’s singing, quilting, running, or playing the ukulele. Do something that gives you joy.
8. Give. Love. Serve.
9. Subtract a piece of furniture, a rusty lesson or unit, or an outdated philosophy to streamline your practice for the fall. Have your new approach to the new school year start now.
10. Say no to a new request or obligation to make time for yourself and keep some peace in your practice for the end of the school year.
11. Spend time with your family.
12. Forgive someone for a transgression or misstep.
13. Do that one thing.
14. Eat healthily. Stock up on vegetables and fruit.
15. Eat unhealthily. Stock up on your favorite guilty pleasures.
16. Give yourself permission to do something you want.
17. Give yourself permission to do nothing.
18. Stay ten minutes later one day just to straighten up so you can hit the ground running in the morning.
19. Journal a bit about why you love teaching.
20. On your way to work one morning, stop by your favorite coffee or bagel place to get yourself a little nosh. Be present as you eat/drink it.
21. Be grateful for the job, the paycheck, and all of your students. Yes, even THAT one.
22. Listen to the birds. Look at the sky. Watch the clouds.
23. Forgive yourself for that transgression or misstep.
24. Start that blog you’ve been wanting to start.
25. Trust in The Universe. Trust in Yourself.
I hope some (or all) of these twenty-five suggestions will help make the rest of the school year just a little more pleasant and peaceful for you.
Because if there’s one thing I know for sure. . .
It’s that you deserve it. TZT
ZEN TEACHER ACTION STEP:
Instead of merely reading this and thinking, "What a nice post. That Zen Teacher guy sure can write up a storm," (Hey--MY blog, MY fantasy. . .), why not choose two or three of these and actually put them into practice. I know you can do it. I TOTALLY have faith in you. And if you're really brave, let me know how it goes.