Last week, I had my own mini-adult temper tantrum. It was the end of the day on Thursday, and as part of our current phase of Work-To-Rule, we all need to be out of the building in 15 minutes. Like others, my teaching partner, Paula, and I are working through these new entry and exit realities, and some days are easier than others. Thursday was not an easy day.
As we rushed to set-up, and I could feel the minutes ticking by, I realized that we needed flyers for our new Plastic Planet provocation. I know that I picked up flyers last weekend at the grocery store. In fact, I had a few different kinds of flyers. I always put flyers in the same cupboard with the paper supplies, but they weren’t there. Why weren’t they there? Where might they be? I was looking everywhere, highly aware of the time, and overwhelmed with my disorganization. The lack of finding flyers didn’t bring me to tears, but I was close: lump-in-the-throat, high-pitched voice close. I could easily stop and get flyers on the way home — which is what I did — and yet, these flyers, or lack thereof, seemed to symbolize all of my stress.
With less time before and after school, I feel that little less organized than usual. Everything is in the classroom, but maybe not in the spaces where I’m used to things being. Looking time was limited, and knowing that I would need to do the same job twice (going and getting the flyers again), just felt overwhelming. Strangely enough, I was feeling this same stress — and maybe more — after school on Friday. One of our learning spaces isn’t working the way that we want it to, and we know that something needs to change. What though? Usually Paula and I take some extra time at the end of the day to sit, observe, just be (and think), and then the ideas come, but we don’t have this time right now. Not in the classroom. It bothers me to leave a space that we know isn’t working, but what could we do? Add to this some additional home stress (all is fine, but at the time, it felt like one more thing on my overfull plate), and my emotions were at an all-time high.
Thankfully though, a rolled down window, some loud country music, and a little more thought, gave me an idea. I texted Paula when I got home (with a clearer head), and we developed a plan. Breathe. Everything is okay once again. A few stressful temper tantrums have ended with a weekend feeling of calm. I share this, for today, I logged into the Co-Reg Community to check out some of the new posts. As I went to comment, I noticed this badge under my name.
Haven. I definitely didn’t feel like a “Self-Reg expert” last week. Self-regulation came, but after a few missteps and with some additional time. Maybe this is a reminder that as much as we may know, have read, or continue to learn about Self-Reg, we all make mistakes. We all have those moments where calm doesn’t come and dysregulation creeps in. I had those moments last week. I also have an amazing teaching partner though, who gave me the safe space to share, the opportunity to unwind, and the time to work through problems together. We all need our people. Here’s to hoping that this week, I have a little more initial sucess at finding my calm. Maybe though, if I see a child having a temper tantrum, a meltdown, or something similar, I will have some extra empathy. I’ve been there. Have you? I wonder if we all need to share our stories.