264.  I am an Instructional Aide for Migrant Education and need to learn to manage the stress of a heavy Migrant load.


Dear Migrant Aide:  I need an answer for your question, too, because I also need to learn to manage the stress of my heavy load.   I am not a stress management expert.   There are many books and articles by true stress management experts that can help you better than I can. However, I am glad to share with you what I do to help myself manage my heavy load, which on many occasions, result in very severe stress.  

For one thing, I try to really look at what I need to DO as I perform my many tasks and fulfill my many functions.   I really look at my schedule and keep in mind my “true” deadlines.   I learned a long time ago that any task is performed as effectively in a short amount of time as in a long amount of time.   If performed in a short amount of time, the performer of the task truly becomes effective and resourceful because there is no time to waste.   If there is a long time to perform a task, the performer does NOT perform the task any more effectively, but rather, wastes a lot of time in details that do NOT add to the quality of the performance.   People tend to work well under pressure.   They become focused and concerned about doing their best within the very narrow time line they have.   So, look at your tasks and then plan them in the calendar so that you do not become worried about little details but rather about what needs to be done to do the best you can.

I also enjoy planning a great deal of variety within my calendar.   I do not focus on a task for hours and hours.   Rather, I perform many tasks in small segments.   I do not become over exerted or totally exhausted by focusing on ONE task for a long period of time.   Rather, I perform many small tasks, leading to the completion of many long assignments, in a period of time.   So some tasks you enjoy doing, some you HAVE TO DO, some that are easy, there are some that are hard, etc.   Variety is very helpful.   It does NOT lead to stress because you never really get tired of doing something.

I also enjoy my hobby: gardening.   I water my plants or do what needs to be done in my garden in short periods of time—after waking up in the morning, when I return home from work.   I also care for my birds, cats and dogs –and for my husband and my father who is 98 years of age, and my children and grandchildren!

You have to choose your tasks so that what you do in one task helps in another task.   In teaching, this is very easy to do.   All students need to know many things, the very same things.   Maybe you can combine the lessons you plan to take care of the commonalities of learnings that students share.

Finally, do NOT tell yourself HOW EXHAUSTED you are!!!!!  The more you tell yourself NEGATIVE thoughts, the more depressed you become.   I always say, just about when I am ready for a stress attack:   “WOW, I have done so much!!!  I am so effective, efficient, resourceful, organized, prepared, etc., etc., etc.”   ALL POSITIVE THOUGHTS.   I simply do NOT let myself get stressed out!!!!     

I hope this helps!!!




For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.


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