Forget "March Madness!" Most educators, School Counselors included, are equally as familiar with "Spring Madness." This time of year can feel like a veritable Sweet Sixteen of your own between spring testing, annual IEP reviews, performances, concerts, honors nights, graduations and more. It's enough to make you run for the hills.
Spring Break is an all too welcome reprieve but the downhill slide to the end of the year can be a bumpy journey. Some students become aware that grades aren't what they need to be to finish the year or graduate, the resulting panic of parents and caregivers sets in, and your teacher colleagues are doing their best to make classes engaging until the bitter end. Not to mention the social-emotional roller coaster that is new romance, stinky teens in warmer weather, questionable wardrobe choices and "senior-itis" that isn't always just about seniors.
The image included in this post is my current phone wallpaper (found on Pinterest). It's a basic but helpful reminder and I look at it often. As you face your own "Spring Madness", allow me to offer you (and myself) a few reminders:
1. There will be an end. Yes, there will be. The school year WILL end. Create a count down of your liking, on your phone, on your office door, enlist your students to help, and celebrate the completion of every day. You can, and will, make it.
2. The most basic things matter and so do you. It is easy to forget that our most basic counseling skills and knowledge of the developmental needs of students are why we are most valuable in our buildings. When all becomes complex, go back to the basics to get grounded again.
3. Take some time for yourself. Really, I'm serious. Check out this 60 second stress relief exercise, called Pixel Thoughts, shared recently by tech guru and role model, Dr. Russ Sabella. Simple, brilliant and maybe just what you need right now. I've already done it twice.
4. You are part of a larger community. As much as our unique situations can wrap us in frustration, we are part of a professional community that thrives on and feeds itself. Be a positive, productive member of that community, especially in the most challenging times. We need you. Look no further than the School Counselor of the Year recognition we've received in recent years to remind yourself of what you belong to: