Friday, July 22, 2011

Breathing In I Calm Myself

by Jan Shoop
I think teachers have one of the most difficult jobs. They have to remain calm, positive and in control no matter what happens. However, there are times when teachers feel like they feel overwhelmed.

-          Or when all their good planning, from the night before, goes down the drain.
-          Or when they have a parent conference and everyone ends up yelling and playing the blame game.
-          Or when a kindergartener puts glue on everything, except the paper.

That’s usually the time when the teachers headed for my office. I have always had an open door policy, but after my first year as Principal, I made a slight change to that rule. I implemented a new policy for anyone who visited my office. It was called, “Breathing In I Calm Myself. Breathing Out I Smile.” Before a teacher could come in to talk, they had to take a deep breath and smile.

My office door would fly open and one of the teachers would dash in. She’d take one look at me and go back out, take a deep breath, put a smile on her face and walk back in. Sometimes it would take the teacher a few deep breaths to be able to smile, but she always walked in calmer and happier. When we both started the discussion with deep breaths and smiles, things just seemed to work out better.

So if you’re having one of those days, just remember to think ‘Breathing in I calm myself. Breathing out I smile.’

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