When it comes to teacher well-being, it's important to know how to say no.
Learning to say no is consequently essential for long-term success in our demanding industry. It provides us the capacity to manage our time and keeps us from becoming stressed out. So, what are our options?
1. Make a time request.
Allowing oneself to be put on the spot for a response is not a good idea. Any request that requires a quick response is unrealistic. Before committing to something, always ask for time to think about it. Then be properly selfish: because this is something that will need more of us, we should think about how it will benefit us. Taking the long view can be beneficial: will you look back and be pleased you did it in the future?
2. Be firm yet courteous.
If you do decide to say no, do it gently and clearly, and be specific about why you are unable to commit. Before going into detail on why something might not be possible, it's a good idea to express some thanks for being asked to do anything. "I appreciate being asked, but...", "I'm sorry, but I can't commit to this because..." are some effective statements.
3. I have a rule...'
For me, this golden phrase has proven to be extremely effective. People generally understand and appreciate the concept that we create rules for ourselves, which might assist us in saying no to something that arises.
4. Take the initiative.
Being proactive in searching out new projects or events in which you wish to participate is a smart strategy. For me, this entails creating lunchtime groups to share my enthusiasm for writing and running. Using this method provides us the feeling of being in charge of how and what we spend our time on. As a teacher, being a part of the larger school community is really beneficial; being able to choose how and when we do things is quite liberating.
Teachers will burn out and quit the profession if we continue to accept things that put pressure on them. It takes guts to say no and push back, but as instructors, we must be honest about the amnesia.