• Beth Ott

The Emotional Rollercoaster that is August

I have a special love affair with the first of the month. It seduces me with it's fresh starts, tantalizes me with hopes of change. It comes bearing gifts like a new year, the unofficial start of summer, or the first day of a new school year. August is a particularly handsome suitor. It brings school anticipation, begs me to return to routines, and teases me with cooler temperatures.

But August brings other baggage too. The beginning of a new school year is exciting, for sure. But it's also anxiety producing. Busy. Thrilling. And Exhausting.

Teachers can be overwhelmed with the rollercoaster of emotions that is August. Even veteran teachers can succumb to it all.

I truly try to remember that the emotional rollercoaster is simply that. There will be ups, and there will be downs, and I know that the rollercoaster eventually evens out and comes to a stop.

The ups can be exciting, yes. And the downs happen so fast you get that funny feeling in the pit of your stomach. But rather than closing my eyes, and begging for the ride to be over, I breathe through it. I reduce my heart rate, and calm my nerves. I know if I get caught up in the anxiety, I can react emotionally, instead of rationally. I can spiral down some negative tornado of situations that will never happen. Have you ever done that?

If I practice staying grounded, ride the waves, and remember that the rollercoaster eventually evens out, I can be a much more present teacher. And human being. That's not to say I don't find myself holding my breath sometimes, waiting for rollercoaster to drop. But I know August brings many more gifts, and if I focus on the moments of anxiety, I'll miss the other moments of joy.

What does August bring you?

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