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  • Writer's pictureMike Ward

Stronger or Longer?

The first several years of teaching are always taxing.  Joyful, rewarding, satisfying, and stimulating too; but, great teachers certainly idle at a higher speed.  That pace becomes a life style that makes us some of the most productive types of people I know.  It also can lead to a constant state of tiredness and resentment at times.  Not now!

This approach is good and bad.  It will make you good out of the gates to tend to all the details.  However, you will find yourself always switched on, searching for the perfect destination somewhere between completely prepared and totally exhausted.  Not a lesson I remember fondly but one that I would never trade in. 

This pace and workload led me to a major change in thinking.  In the beginning, I was working under the misconception of incremental gains.  Getting trapped by the philosophy that the more I put in would result in an equal gain in performance.  After teaching economics, I was surprised to learn that I was experiencing the Law of Diminishing Returns:-)

Can you work in a way to improve your performance and spend less time doing it? You bet! Now I can do so much more in same amount of time and enjoy a healthy life/career balance.  My efforts now look to do things more selectively/strategically rather than attempt the impossible task of doing everything, every day. The pace early on prevented me from seeing other available solutions. More effective and efficient alternatives were not apparent, I was just too busy.  Now, I cannot believe they were missed.  Completely understand when I share this with new teachers and it is tough for them to understand.  

So, I hope this message raises your awareness so in coming weeks you can enjoy the fruits of your labor while still enjoying a healthy life/career balance. Give yourself a chance. The solutions you are seeking might be closer than you think.

Want to talk more about the subject?  Let me know.  

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