One piece of advice conveyed to me as a student in high school has never really helped. It went something like this:When in trouble When in doubt Run in circles Scream and shout.
While my ability to confront and manage stressful situations has never found me resorting to this worrying piece of advice, my stress management tools are in a constant state of flux. Sometimes I react to adversity with the bravery of a Knight of the Round Table and the insight of a mountain-dwelling Zen Buddhist monk. There have also been times when my reaction to stressful situations has resembled an exploding teapot in the middle of a soccer riot.
It’s not easy to keep your head while all about you, people are losing theirs. As teachers, you certainly know what I mean, whether you’re witnessing a heated debate at a PTA or school board meeting; sitting through an interminable and difficult faculty meeting; or when your best-laid lesson plans fail you in a turbulent sea of unruly students masquerading as your typically placid and awesome class.
Sometimes you lose it. Or come close to losing it. Hopefully, it happens once every few years at most. Let’s face it: although we are teachers, we are also human, and we can succumb to stress with less than the measured grace for which we are generally revered. So tell me, how do you manage to keep your cool?