I had a teacher in high school who worked so hard to engage us, who poured his heart so thoroughly into his teaching, that one day it all became too much for him. He came to school one morning exhausted and deflated, and he didn’t recover for the rest of the year. He went from leading us through daily engaging discussions and energetic lesson plans to summarizing dry power point presentations every day. It was so sad to see. Fortunately he came back the next year more or less fully recovered. He figured something out; I’m not sure what it was. But thinking back on this, I’m convinced of the importance of self care. We might feel like we need to pour everything we have into our jobs, but we really can’t drain ourselves completely. We need to sleep and eat. We need to have social lives. This is all crucial if we’re going to maintain a consistent, kind, encouraging presence in our classrooms. Students deserve that.