Learn to say no | The Quebec Newspaper


With each new school year, I’m happy to see my colleagues again. People have easy smiles, humor is in the spotlight, teachers’ classroom is bursting with energy.

Let’s just say that the summer holidays allowed to recharge the batteries of all these beautiful people. A “must”, because a school year is like a marathon. Its long. There are times when it rolls and others when it hurts.

You need to know how to manage your race if you want to cross the finish line. And it is when your race begins, when you are physically and mentally fit, that there is a risk of starting a little too quickly.

Battery life

It is before the arrival of students that teachers (or staff) are asked to take on a new project, a new assignment or to participate in a committee. At the moment, several teachers are eagerly adding extras to their regular duties.

But there is a risk in taking yourself for Energizer Bunny.

The spontaneous “yes” of August can turn into a nightmare “why did I say yes?” during the autumn. Taking on too many responsibilities and being too ambitious can lead to Burnout in November.

In this regard, my colleague Hugo Laplante offered me a reading for the occasion: Not again! How to avoid going overboard this year.

Whether you are a teacher or not, I invite you to read this text.

According to the author, one of the most consistent predictors of teacher attrition is the overwhelming number of additional tasks they take on, such as serving on various committees or performing administrative duties. These non-teaching roles have only increased in recent years.

Experts say it’s important to set clear boundaries and prioritize certain tasks at the start of the school year to help prevent stress and burnout later on.

learn to say no

Also according to the author, the teacher should ask himself a few questions to determine if a task is worth his time investment:

– Does this commitment allow me to use my strengths to help others?

– Will it help my professional growth?

– Will accepting this commitment diminish my ability to fulfill my current obligations?

– What can I remove from the plate before adding something new?

In addition to your own thought process, it is also advisable to contact a colleague with whom you can discuss before accepting a new job.

Teaching is a humanly demanding profession. Teaching, among other things, requires being empathetic, generous and attentive. Unsurprisingly, there are a large number of “natural caregivers” in our community.

“The main problem with teachers is that they always try to please everyone.” – Kitty Boitnott

To my esteemed colleagues, who after all I would call volunteers, take care of yourself!

We want to see you cross the finish line.


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