Thursday, February 18, 2010

Giving Up Facebook for Lent? Not Exactly.

I have decided to limit my interpersonal interactions with all but the most necessary people until March 20, the first day of spring. Consider this an act to preserve my mental health. With all the recent snow and subsequent snow days, we in Monongalia County are in a collective dire mood. Limiting my exposure to negativity will help me keep some semblance of cheer.

The last time I felt this stressed was during the winter of 2003. Our school had a very open door policy then. Parents would come into the library and ask me when our days of missed instruction would be made up and related questions. "Why did the superintendent call a two-hour delay instead of canceling school?" "Why can't there be school for the kids who can make
it?" "We aren't going to lose our spring break because of snow days, are we?" Ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

Today, it is different. My stressors are those I communicate with on Facebook. The questions are the same from the parents with some new ones added by fellow teachers. "Why do we have to go to school if the kids aren't there?" "Why is Mon County the last system to call off school?"
"Why should I have to use a personal day if the county doesn't have to pay for a sub?"

I am not saying that these are not valid feelings, ideas and concerns; what I am say is this: I can't handle it! I am striving to avoid stressors at school but limiting my time in the lounge, and when kids are not around, spending more time in my office. On Facebook I will only check my family posts.

This policy of isolation may not be the healthiest, but I can use my time to more positive goals, such as professional development. It will only be for four weeks.

C. Edmund Collins, Principal Emeritus of Brookhaven Elementary, customarily stopped taking complaints during the winter months. He assured the aggrieved that he would hear their concerns on March 20. If it was really a problem, it would still be a problem on March 20, and he would deal with it then.

We can learn so much from our elders!

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