If You Don’t Fill Your Schedule, Someone Else Will Personal by Joel Wagner - September 29, 2008July 1, 20102 I have gotten 4 comments in the last 24 hours from people telling me about a time in their life (past or present) where they were so focused on school that it completely stressed them out. A big part of that comes from the fact that so many of us have a hard time saying, “No!” Personal time is a vital key to maintaining (or regaining) the sanity that we have lost as a result of our work. If the only people you hang around are kids, parents, teachers, and administrators, there can be no wonder you are burning yourself out! Quick, read these articles! 25 Tips For Less Stress 65 Things You Should Do Right Now To Avoid Burnout All Work And No Play Makes Joel A Dull Boy Help! I’m On The Verge of Burnout!!! Do I Quit Teaching Or What Do I Do? How Do I Keep My Sanity? If You Make Only One Change This Year…RELAX!!!!!! Organization Leads To Sanity Overcoming Stress In A Stress-Filled Season Play At Work I think it is critical that we establish a close circle of teacher friends, but also that we maintain a life outside of the education world. So many teachers go to work, teach Sunday school at church, coach their children’s teams, and just basically spend all of their time teaching. Find a hobby and excel at it. Obviously most of us have gotten somewhat comfortable with computers. What would happen if you made it a point to learn a completely new skill in the next year? Do something completely unexpected. I would have laughed you to scorn a year ago if you told me that I would have spent all summer and pretty much every weekend so far this semester playing mariachi gigs. And yet, that is exactly what happened. I was talking with one of our secretaries today and asked her if she would teach me Spanish in exchange for guitar lessons. I have a guitar, but now it’s time for me to really learn how to play so I can teach her something. And then, there are some times when you just need to take a day off from school and just chill. The kids will be there tomorrow. The sub will appreciate the money. If I’m not mistaken, you actually look a little bit sick right now… Joel WagnerJoel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.