I wanted to know what support you needed now, in the wake of corona and I heard you loud and clear. You have enough to do, and you don’t want anything else added to your plate.
I hear you.
Heading back to school in the wake of a nation wide lock-down without any time or space to breathe has you shattered. I get it, I do. The slower pace has instantly been sped up, there is no way to ease yourself back into the classroom, it’s zero to one hundred in seconds. Where you went from slowly eating your breakfast and drinking hot coffee, almost overnight, you’re eating breakfast at 2.30pm and forgetting where you put your coffee. You’re fighting with the photo-copier and can no longer make use of that all powerful mute button. Your to-do-list is growing by the minute and the emails keep rolling in. Parents are on your case – you’re either doing too much, or not enough, but whatever you do, you can’t win. You thought it was going to be different, like we had woken up to this new, slow way of life and it was going to filter into the school too. But it didn’t.
You are stressed – already.
You are overwhelmed – already.
You are exhausted – already.
You don’t want anything else to do – I get it, I really do.
You don’t want to reflect on your Covid teaching right now.
You don’t want that staff meeting right now.
You don’t want that appraisal right now.
You don’t even want that well-being expert to help you right now.
You just want to teach – I hear you.
You just want to get on with it – I hear you.
You just want to connect with your kids again – I hear you.
But please, I have just one favour to ask you.
Don’t make looking after yourself a chore.
Please don’t let it be that thing you put on your list to do each day, but never get to cross it off.
You wellbeing must be your priority.
Just like you wouldn’t go to school without pants on,
don’t go to school without checking in with yourself first.
You matter to me.
You matter to your students.
You matter to your family.
You matter just as much at that math plan.
You matter just as much as that writing feedback.
You matter just as much as that child with the IEP.
So please, do one thing and prioritise yourself.
Because you matter.
In the wake of Corona, we all need different things to feel supported right now and many schools won’t know how to start. Not all schools will be getting it right, not right now – not yet. It’s ok to feel whatever it is you are feeling. It’s ok to need extra support. It’s ok.
Whatever it is you need right now – give yourself permission.
If you can’t control what is happening at school, take control of what is happening in your head.
If you can’t take control of what is happening at school, take control of what is happening in your heart.
My heart has been heavy all day, worrying about the teachers who are not being supported right now. With everything else on my plate right now, I felt overwhelmed and held back the tears at morning tea today, the only thing stopping them was the boys eating inside due to the wet weather. We have just gone through a moment in history we will never forget and my heart is aching for all those teachers who feel like they have been abandoned – like their wellbeing is at the bottom of everyone’s list. Maybe, my heart aches a bit for myself too.
Your wellbeing is at the top of my list, right up there next to mine.
I know you don’t want to add anything to your list right now.
I know you are busy.
But when you are ready for help,
I am here to support you.
Focus on the parts of your day that bring you the most light.
This storm will die down and you will breathe again.
But you have to allow the rain to fall and the wind to howl.
I know it’s extra hard right now.
I am here.
I am with you.
We can be teachers who thrive – it doesn’t always have to be about survival.
But it has to start with us – it has to start with me – it has to start with you.