Paperwork, Tips, Work Life Balance

What To Do When You Make a Mistake

We have all been there. You misplace a document, you miss a deadline, you completely forget about something. It just happened to me this week. A colleague gave me something to give a parent, and I totally forgot to pass it along! My instinct was to panic but I had to take a deep breath and remind myself of 5 important steps.

Own the Mistake

The worst thing you can do in this situation is pretend like the mistake didn’t happen. Even if you make the mistake go away for the time being, there is a very high chance it will rear its’ ugly head at a later date. You don’t want to be in that situation.

Tell the People Who Need to Know

Immediately disclose the mistake to your supervisor or another individual who oversees the area. In my instance, I reported the mistake to the coordinator who gave me the paper in the first place. If you tell them before it gets to them some other way, it will help you in the long run.

Offer a Remedy

If your mistake causes someone else more work, it can quickly become a source of frustration. When you suggest  a solution to a problem or offer to assist in any way needed, you can help alleviate some of the tension. Show the person impacted that you are willing to go the extra mile to help!

Learn From the Mistake 

If the mistake occurred due to your lack of organization, revisit the method you use to keep track of things! If the mistake occurred because you are unsure of how to do something, ask for clarification or additional training. For example, it would be easy to make mistake using an online system if you had no idea how to do certain operations within the system!

Move On

Am I the only one who lies in bed and thinks about that mistake I made 4 months ago? This isn’t healthy and it doesn’t help! Once you fix the mistake and learn from it, move on! Don’t beat yourself up; we are all human!

Personal, Work Life Balance

Take the Sick Day

As I right this, I know I am a complete hypocrite. I am the worst at taking my sick days. Even when I feel horrible, I still come in to work. Case in point this week.

I was diagnosed with Bronchitis on Monday night. I did stay home from work on Tuesday (doctor’s orders) but the only reason I actually stayed home was because it was a teacher work day. I dragged myself into work on Wednesday and on Thursday and I felt horrible. I am finally starting to feel better but I’m pretty sure I drug this along more then I needed to.

Why am I so afraid of the sick day? Why do I feel so much guilt when I stay home? I have a great class and a good routine. I have assistants and students who could help the sub out. Most importantly I need to take care of myself.

When you feel sick, take the sick day. Sleep in. Drink tea. Eat lunch, take medicine and go back to sleep. Give your body the time it needs to recover. Here’s to hoping I take my own advice next time.

 

Personal, Work Life Balance

Why I Won’t Be Joining in on Gossip This Year

People who know me well will tell you that I take a little bit to warm up. I can be shy and small talk has never been my strong suit. In fact, I even experience a level of social anxiety in some situations. One of my biggest concerns when I got my first job teaching was how on earth I was going to make friends.

Somehow, the friends came quickly. I established friendships with other special education teachers as well as general education teachers. I lead a school with an Autism Awareness Initiative, which also helps me get to know teachers that I wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to talk to.

While being friendly with co-workers is a good thing, the dark side of gossip is sure to follow. It started with a quick comment, then turned into an actual time-sucking conversation. Next thing I knew, most of my conversations were gossipy in nature. Rather than asking my 70-plus colleagues for advice on handling a tricky parent teacher meeting or a strategy to help a struggling student, I joined in on pointless conversations that didn’t do anything but circulate negativity.

Not only did I join in on these conversation at school, I became too connected outside of school. I went to happy hours, holiday parties, and spent the weekends texting. In some of these instances, such as my friendship with the best inclusion teacher I’ve ever seen, these conversations were to solve problems or generate ideas.

Other conversations didn’t do the same. The night I realized that it was all-encompassing was when my husband and I got in a disagreement about something personal. He finally asked me “what did your school friends say?” and I immediately spout out the answer. That’s when it hit me, I had spent more time gossiping about the issue with my co-workers than I had actually working through it with my husband.

School and everything about it had consumed me and that is not a good place to be in. I was so focused on these friendships and joining into the gossip mill, I forgot I was a person outside that school. I’ve spent the summer getting back to what I love. I’m enjoying my newlywed life (We are only 102 days in!), diving into my huge stack of to-read books, trying new recipes, exploring my new interest in craft breweries, and snuggling with my puppy.

I feel good about the choices I’m making, because being a teacher is now just a part of me. It’s still probably the biggest part of me, but it’s not my entire picture. I’m a little nervous to go back to school, because the first time I walk away from a gossip-driven or negative conversation might be uncomfortable, but it is something I need to do. I’m not saying I will never again listen to or say a piece of gossip, but I am saying I’m going to refocus my conversations at work and my priorities outside of work.

Here’s to the new, happier, more well-rounded me!