Skip to content


This weekend, during rest time, I heard a few sobs from my youngest daughter’s room.  The sounds were odd, so I went to check on her.  As I approached her door, I heard a bit of pounding and — oh dear! — was that a growl?  Opening the door and peeking in, I asked, “Is everything okay?”

Another growl.  “I. Can’t. Get. Strawberry. Shortcake’s. Hat. To. Stay. Onnnnnnn.”  A bit of kicking.

“Are you frustrated?”

More growling, “YES!”

Yesterday I was at a meeting with other literacy coaches.  Although there were no sobs or growls or kicking and pounding, the phrase I heard uttered over and over again was:  “I’m so frustrated!”

I hear it in hallways and parking lots and lunch rooms too.  From teachers and administrators and parents and students — “I’m so frustrated!”

And I feel it in my neck and my shoulders and my head.  I, too, am frustrated.

So this post is for me.  It’s not going to be an analysis of why we feel frustration in this profession, the best of ’em all.  Nor is it going to be a reflection of what could be different in order to aleviate the frustration, although that would be nice.  No this post is about what I can do now.  Because the things I feel like doing — crying, pounding, growling, kicking, giving up — just aren’t going to cut it.

10 Ways to Deal With Frustration

  1. Exercise.  Move.  Walk.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Go down a slide.
  2. Work to change the things I can.
  3. Accept with peace the things which are out of my control.
  4. Be able to tell the difference between numbers 2 & 3!  (This is the Serenity Prayer in a nutshell!)
  5. Eat pumpkin ice cream with my friend after school today.
  6. Write in my writer’s notebook lists like:  The Good in Schools; I’m Grateful For; Reasons I Love Being an Educator.
  7. Hug my husband and kids.
  8. Offer encouragement.
  9. Wear a cool pair of shoes.
  10. Create art.


art, education



Ruth Ayres View All

Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.

5 thoughts on “frustration. Leave a comment

  1. Personally, I love number nine! I want to get some new shoes! I think I’m guilty of focusing too much on the reasons that I’m frustrated and not being pro-active to change what I can…


  2. Ruth, loved your “10 Ways to Deal with Frustration.” Quite a variety of choices to help deal with frustration. It would be a great post for my “Peace Blog.” Would you might if I quoted you?


  3. There is a lot of frustration at my school this year. Many of us are trying to find the good and stay positive. It helps too to know that many of us are “fighting the good fight.” Thanks.

    I’d also add to your list . . . find someone you trust who will let you vent. I often find that once I let it all go then I am in a better position to move forward and let go of the frustration. The danger is in letting the venting turn into a full-on gripe fest which tends to keep us IN that mode, not letting us move on.


%d bloggers like this: