You spend hours teaching students, updating parents, and working with colleagues. But what about you? Too often, teachers see themselves as the last priority. Author Mike Anderson shares tips on how to turn the chaos into calm in his new book, The Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane Inside the Classroom and Out.

Take Charge of Your Stress
1. Make a list of the components of your job and the responsibilities you have that bring you pleasure and the ones that cause you stress.
2. What can you eliminate? Ask yourself what is most important. What times of day, days of the week, and times of year are most stressful for you? Why? Take a closer look at your school calendar and build in breaks during stressful hot spots.

Call on Your Colleagues
1. Make a list of the colleagues you feel connected to, then reach out and remind them how much you value their friendship and support.
2. Make a list of the colleagues you would like to connect more with. Invite them to collaborate on something-a book club, discussion group, or PD project.

Reground Yourself as a Teacher
1. Make a list of the positive effects you have on your school community, its students, teachers, and parents.
2. Keep letters from students, thank-you notes from parents, and supportive e-mails from colleagues. When you are feeling down, reread them to remind yourself why you teach.
3. Do away with notions of a perfect classroom environment. Instead, envision a place where you and your students would be happy and comfortable. Because in the end, isn't that what matters most? 

FACT: Teaching is the germiest job in America, says a study by CareerBuilder.com, followed by accounting and banking,
two fields that require a lot of handshakes.


Source: From The Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane Inside the Classroom and Out, by Mike Anderson, Alexandria, VA: ASCD. © 2010 by ASCD. Adapted with permission. Learn more about ASCD at ascd.org.