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In the world of classroom teaching, our daily to-do list is a dynamic mix of essentials, volunteered extras, and personal pursuits. From teaching and lesson planning to maintaining classroom order, engaging in Professional Learning Communities, responding to parent emails, and even delving into extracurricular activities – it's a constant juggling act.

Some tasks are non-negotiable, firmly embedded in our job description. Others are the extras we willingly took on, perhaps out of passion or a desire to go above and beyond. And then there are those additional tasks that we choose to tackle for various reasons – maybe a spark of creativity, a new initiative, or a well-intentioned idea.

However, as educators, we are not able to do everything, and to prevent burnout and frustrations, we don't need to try!

There are those things that we must take care of. Again, these are the tasks embedded in our job descriptions. Then there are the more important tasks that are directly related and necessary for improving our students. Teaching, lesson planning, classroom management – these aren't just checkboxes; they are the foundations of our profession. It's the daily commitment to these fundamental aspects that lays the foundation for anything else.

Then, there are the other school-related tasks that we volunteer to do or agree to do. Now, that is fine. I'm not saying never go above and beyond. But technically, you can't go above what you're supposed to do if you don't even do what you're supposed to do.

Ensure that you've done your foundations before choosing to take on extra demands. Sometimes things seem like they aren't that much and won't take much time. However, be mindful of those things because they can negatively impact your attitude and commitment to the things that you should be doing.

And now, let's talk about those innovative extra ideas that are so easy for us teachers to navigate towards. While enthusiasm and creativity are commendable, not every idea is equally significant. It's essential to discern between the cute, fun extras and the impactful initiatives that genuinely make a positive difference for our students. Not every spark needs to be fanned into flames; some are best left as sparks.

Prioritize the tasks that matter most, and don't feel obligated to do more if it adds to your stress and frustrations, which can lead to you possibly not being as great a teacher as you can be. Teachers are awesome, but despite our saying that we are superheroes, unfortunately, we aren't. No one walking this Earth is. We must take care of ourselves and not stretch ourselves too thin. So remember, you're amazing! You can do anything, but not everything.


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