REDLINE means to drive with (a car engine) at or above its rated maximum rpm. Basically, the engine cannot go or work any faster. Many vehicles have an rpm gauge and the top or maximum part of the gauge will even be marked in red. If educators had an rpm gauge on their chest, I am quite confident that many of them would be in the red area. If they weren’t there at that particular point, you can bet that at some time during the school day they would spend some time in the red.
An engine that redline’s too much doesn’t usually last as long. The engine will wear out quicker and begin to labor even when you are not pushing it beyond the limits. Routine speeds and terrain become more difficult for the engine. This same affect can happen to educators. Soon routine tasks become more tiresome. Student behaviors can become more taxing. New curriculum’s and guidelines can appear overwhelming.
To the outside world, I am sure at times we can appear to be difficult or viewed as whiners. But if the engine is already operating at a maximum level and more is being asked, what do you do? Now I am not saying we should whine and complain. We need to push through and maintain a positive attitude. A positive attitude will take all of us much farther and allow us to handle difficult situations with much more professionalism than whining and complaining. Being positive and being happy are choices. If you smile and tell your self to think positively, soon you will actually be happy and positive. It is a little trick many people have mastered and all you have to do to master it is to do it.
It is also vital that we take care of ourselves. Even if you have to actually schedule it, take some time to relax and recharge. Rest and cool your engines. Put your body into idle mode. Figure out what your favorite thing to do is and be sure you do it regularly. Whether that is a little each day, weekly or longer. Just be sure you have it on your radar so you have something to look forward to. When you have something exciting in your future, it will make the hard work that much better.
Educators are great people. They have skills and abilities only other educators can truly appreciate. But we can also be our own worst enemies. Redlining too much will not be beneficial for anyone in the long run. We exist for the students. If we push too hard and do not take care of ourselves, then the students don’t get the best we can be. So let up on the accelerator, put the car in park, turn off the key and live to race another day.