Every Sunday night, my high school principal sends a beautifully crafted email of encouragement and wisdom to the faculty. Of course there’s pertinent information as well, mostly updates and important dates to remember, but at the heart of her messages are words of inspiration—and this week’s was no different. Just three days ago, I received an email that reminded my colleagues and me of the importance of self-care. We’re one week shy of midterms (insane!!!), and finally halfway through the longest term of the school year. Faculty members have been trucking away like trains on a track, turning our wheels faster and faster, not breaking, not stopping, and not resting since we started orientation and planning week in August. We’re exhausted, sleep-deprived, dehydrated, famished, and probably a hop, skip, and a jump away from falling ill or quitting (whichever comes first, right?). We’re turning into zombies and pod-people—tiny shells of our previous existence. Okay, okay…maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here, but when we stop and take a moment to breathe and reflect deeply, we can start to see and feel what we’ve often been ignoring. And as I sit and consider my own thoughts and feelings, I can’t help but think about yours: how do the students feel?
Midterm grades are coming out soon and, if I’m finally being honest with myself, I haven’t done well at all. In fact, that’s pretty much an understatement. This is my first semester at a very intense school, and the level of work and effort required of us has been really difficult, way harder than my previous school. The issue is my parents have no idea! I haven’t been completely truthful with them about my progress and experience in school, and when they find out…let’s just say it won’t be pretty. Help! What should I do?
Nervous in New Hampshire
Crush ‘em! Kill ‘em! Gooooooooooooo!!! Fight!!!! Win!!!!
If you’ve ever been to any sporting event, I’m sure you’ve heard these or similar sentiments shouted from sidelines and stadium stands. The anxiety and adrenaline simultaneously rise within you. You feel your blood rushing through your veins and your heart bursting through your chest as your home team crosses the finish line, scores the winning goal, or makes a final touchdown—but what happens when they lose? Do you drop them like a hot potato or approach the situation with a “you’ll-get-‘em-next-time” mentality? The same questions can be asked at non-sporting events. When faced with a tough loss, how do you remain hopeful and optimistic? How do you keep searching for the sunshine when you may be in the middle of a storm? And how do you encourage others to do the same? Coach.