Educators, I see you. I know it’s been a rough couple of years.
From teaching through a global pandemic to adjusting in real time to teacher shortages and policy changes, from worrying about school safety to trying to manage more disruptive behavior in your classroom, this past school year alone has presented huge challenges.
As humans, we are neurobiologically wired for connection – it’s in our DNA. And, as educators, you are wired to help support the students (and fellow educators) you serve – it’s why you entered this profession to begin with. However, due to all of the external (and internal) pressures, you and so many other educators are likely feeling burned out, exhausted, and overwhelmed.
If you are feeling that way, it’s nearly impossible to create a culture of connection and belonging in your classroom, which respected researchers – from Brené Brown to John Hattie to Zaretta Hammond – point to as a best practice in helping students grow and learn. So, in order to really show up for your students, please give yourself permission and space to show up for yourself.
Taking Time to Reflect
With back-to-school here, it’s time to reflect on the last couple of months. Here are three questions to get started:
- Did you take any time off this summer?
- Did you go on vacation?
- Did you give yourself a real break from work?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of these questions then stop right now, take a deep breath, and say out loud to yourself: I matter.
You deserve a break (even if it is a few minutes) to recharge, reset, and rejuvenate. This is not indulgent but rather it is essential to your well-being.