If you are a teacher, this scenario may sound all too familiar. You arrive at the designated meeting location on the opening day exercises of the new school year. You spend time catching up with friends and colleagues, smiling and ready to take on the world. You feel great because you have spent time over the summer reflecting and preparing for the upcoming year. Then it happens, your district introduces a new initiative. You begin to panic and look around the room. Is this really happening? The pit in your stomach grows as summer vacation suddenly becomes a distant memory.
If you have been in education for even a few years, you have probably experienced something like this already, and most certainly will again. Relax, you are not alone! Change can be difficult but it can also be good (see Change Can be Good). The process of coming to terms with seemingly impossible demands is different for everyone, but recognizing your feelings is a good place to start.
- Shock: “We have to do what?!”
- Denial: “They can’t really expect us to do this, can they?”
- Anger: “I can’t believe they are doing this to us!”
- Resistance: “There’s no way I’m doing this.”
- Acceptance: “Fine, I guess I have no choice.”
- Learning: “OK, I kind of get it.”
- Experimentation: “I tried it,this is pretty good.”
- Practicing: “I am getting much better at this.”
- Mastery: “This is great, I’m on a roll now!”
- Sharing: “It’s easy, let me help you with that!”
What are you doing in your daily practice now that once caused stress and anxiety?