I am sure you are all relieved that this online teaching is coming to an end – for me, I get to head back to school tomorrow and I am beyond excited to see my kids for real. I had to hold back the tears this morning during our final zoom lesson when I expressed just how proud I was of all of them. They have handled all the changes like absolute champs but now the real hard work will start as we surround our kids with all the love and support they need to bounce back from all of this. However, in saying this, while you are working hard to support your kids and their wellbeing, please do not forget your own. It is vital you do not forget your own. It is incredibly vital.
If you belong to a school where a teacher’s wellbeing is seen as just as important as your students, I am sure you are feeling incredibly supported with your transition back to school and my heart hopes this to be the truth for all of you. Sadly, however, it is not like this at all schools and many teachers are left to fend for themselves.
I know there will be many of you who have struggled during this time in isolation, your troubles may have nothing to do with teaching: we have had partners lose their jobs, businesses go bust, we have had to mourn loved ones in private and felt the impact of home schooling. There have been families going without, relationship break downs and an immeasurable amount of heartache and overwhelming feelings felt by many. It’s been a truly weird time.
If your personal feelings are left unchecked, the issues that have been plaguing you will slowly creep their way into the classroom. Just like that slow moving vine that wraps itself around our native trees and strangles them, overwhelms them and eventually suffocates them. If your personal emotions are pushed under the carpet now, I guarantee you will suffer more later – and so will your students (and probably your family at home too).
Your fuse will become shorter.
Your voice will become higher.
Your breath will become shorter.
Your hair will become grayer.
Your sleep will be interrupted.
Your health will suffer.
Your light will dim.
Your ability to offer your students the support they are so desperately needing right now will become near impossible.
Your ability to deal with the challenges we are about to be faced with will be become a futile mission.
Take care of yourself – your thoughts, your feelings, your body, your heart, your soul.
Hold yourself in a space of self-compassion.
Be kind to yourself.
Ask yourself how you are feeling.
Slowly work your way to a better feeling.
For us to give our students what they need, we MUST give ourselves what we need.
Love yourself as much as you love your students.
Give them as much as you can give.
But DO NOT give them everything you have to give.
Save some for your family.
Save some for yourself.
If you are struggling with your headspace and your ability to cope at school, please talk to someone. My inbox is always open ❤
Teacher Wellbeing – it starts with us. It starts with me. Its starts with you. We have to be the ones to drive the change.
Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takimano
My strength is not that of an individual but that of the collective