Have you ever listened…I mean REALLY listened to the conversations in the teacher’s lounge?  If you haven’t, consider this…

The teacher’s lounge might be ruining your health!

While I’m not a doctor (though I play one in this blog!), I have seen a correlation between the time spent in the teacher’s lounge and the contentedness of teachers.  Let me give you a recent example…

I walked into a teacher’s lounge during a morning break/prep period and here’s a smattering of what I heard:

  • “Oh yeah, I WISH my kids would test me on that…they wouldn’t like what they’d see.”
  • “UGH!  If that mother calls me one more time, I’m going to scream.  I need to tell her she needs to take a parenting class.”
  • “I dare him (the principal) to tell me what to do, I’ll just file a grievance.”

Need more?  I hope, for your sake, this doesn’t sound familiar.

Here’s the deal: I believe that staying out of teachers lounge and avoiding such negativity as I report above is ESSENTIAL to teacher health.

Teacher’s lounges in many cases are places where we fall into the teaching “noise” – the conversations that lead us to view ourselves as victims of the parents, victims of accountability, victims of the kids, victims of the system.  The reality is WE ARE THE PERPETRATORS if we continue to give into, listen to and contribute to the negative noise.

The scary part about teaching “noise”?  It’s highly contagious!

According to the American Medical Association, in order to avoid or prevent infectious diseases, you should try things like this:

  1. Get vaccinated
  2. Wash your hands often
  3. Take medication as prescribed
  4. Avoid places of infestation

So why, Jill Jackson, are you telling me about the American Medical Association in your reading blog?

Well, here’s why…we can learn something from those four steps above.  Try this and report back and let me know what you think!

  1. Get vaccinated: Find those people in your school/district and make a pact to help each other speak highly about the work you do.  Encourage each other to seek out others who are trying to stay positive and productive.  Be proactive!
  2. Wash your hands often: Wash your hands of those you KNOW are negative or meet your every “this is possible!” conversation with 20 reason why it is NOT possible!  Guard your time carefully…it is true – you are who you spend time with.
  3. Take medication as prescribed: Stay healthy – get enough sleep, use your school time wisely to accomplish tasks that help boost your productivity and that of your students.  Take a walk during break and tell a funny “kid” story.
  4. Avoid places of infestation: If you hate going to the union meetings where everyone crabs about “the man” – then don’t attend.  If you notice that a certain team is particularly nasty in their discussions about the administrator, move tables. 

There are lots of things that you can’t control in teaching, but the #1 thing that you can control is your attitude.  If you’re like me, you guard it with you life and really seek to surround yourself with positivity – it’s not “pie in the sky”-ness, but SURVIVAL.

So I ask you…do you need to make a mad dash out of the teacher’s lounge to improve your health?  Tie up those running shoes if you do!

I need your help!  I am looking for educators just like you to leave comments below to start our community of positivity…so, how do YOU stay away from the sickness of the teacher’s lounge?  What is your alternative spot to relax during the day?