As I continue to read and hear the pain teachers go through globally, I wanted to share some points that seem appropriate for teachers to breathe.
- Resist the belief that self-care is selfish. This unhealthy message of glorifying overworking is detrimental to our wellness and eventually to our students’ learning. Take care of you, for real. It’s the right thing to do. Invest in your well-being.
- Teachers’ pain needs to be heard. Ignore the empty positivity messages which repeat “be positive”. I prefer the term optimism which doesn’t invalidate the current situation but opens up space for a better future. This situation is temporary, things will get better but now, it sucks and you have the right to feel the pain. Don’t chase your feelings, welcome them, acknowledge them and slowly widen your perspective to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Rely on each other and let go of the connections that create stress. You need to be surrounded by the people who lift you up, not the ones who create anxiety. Most likely, these negative elements have their own issues leading them to act this way and it’s not about you, yet it affects you so increase time with the people who matter and who think you matter too.
- Teachers’ workload needs to be reduced so they can focus on learners. Be an advocate, ask to let go of things that no longer make sense. Ask killer questions, challenge the status quo. If you never try, you will never know. What’s the worst that can happen?
Lots of admiration for all teachers.