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Also keep the following in mind to reduce negative stress (Joseph 2000: 120): • • • • • • • • • • Nobody is perfect or can do things perfectly. Do not try to be ALL things to ALL people. Sometimes things that ought to be done can be left undone. Don’t spread yourself too thinly. Learn to say no. Schedule time for yourself and your support group. Regularly switch off and do nothing. At times you may be boring, inelegant, untidy and unattractive. Don’t burden yourself with inappropriate guilt feelings.

To be able to manage themselves effectively and take control of the classroom situation, educators must have this basic attitude to life. This implies that they must reject the culture of blaming others, the system, the department or anything else for everything that goes wrong in education. It implies that they accept accountability for what they should and work in a motivated way. Managing your thoughts is an important aspect of motivating yourself positively. To do so, you need to talk and think positively, not negatively; focus on the future and not on past failures; accept your limitations and focus on your strengths and be optimistic, not pessimistic.

The guidelines for classroom plans may also differ from school to school. A good test of an effective classroom plan or lesson programme is whether another educator could use it to deliver the same lesson as you would have done. It is possible to give some common guidelines for what should be in an effective plan, whatever form it takes (Department of Education 2002, in: UNISA 2006: 10): • Plans should be written down. • When you plan, do not plan for 100 per cent of the time. Allow some time for unplanned questions, disruptions and other events.

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