Teaching Balance in the Modern Age

Teaching is considered by some to be a thankless profession: though the hours seem short compared to other jobs, the reality is that it’s a tough gig to balance work and life with all the prep work: answering emails, updating the classroom website, entering data, lesson planning, preparing for meetings, and more.

Recently, one of our guests, Liz Orlando, an elementary school teacher and yoga instructor who lives just outside Boston, MA, wrote to us recounting her reflections on her trip. She told us about how teachers often feel the need “to disconnect from the world from time to time.”

Which makes sense as teaching in the digital age is tricky; technology has dominated our lives and now is an integral part of the classroom. There are technology specialists now – gone are the days of card catalogs –  and “it is remarkable how technology savvy a seven year old can be… it can be really difficult to capture students’ attention when you are competing with technology,” according to Liz.

Here are Liz’s top three lessons to teach kids about balance:

Slow down to speed up. By slowing down, you can do things once and do them correctly. By going too fast, we can make mistakes and then have to re-do work, which ultimately slows us down. We said that in our classroom all the time this year. So much so that a student brought in pencils with that phrase on them!

Slow down to speed up

Make decisions for what is best for you. With so much stimulation everywhere, it can be tough to prioritize what works for you. I’ve also been practicing saying “no,” meaning if it isn’t going to serve me, I let it pass. However, I’m also being mindful of saying “yes” when I think it might be a good opportunity for me to grow and try something new.

To have good friends, you must be a good friend. Practice kindness.  There are so many digital friends one can have, and technology allows us to connect in so many ways, but there is something about being in front of the people you love.  Carve out the time to really relish those moments, and set plans to do it again then and there.

Find balance in your own life

As the saying goes, it’s never too late to learn. After all, you don’t need to be a student to take a page out of Miss Orlando’s lesson plan and start learning about how to create balance in your own life. If you’re looking to slow down, prioritize yourself, and be a good friend, we know the perfect place to start.