Balancing Your Well-Being with Being A Teacher
during uncertainty and change
Welcome all educators!
(Yes-- that means paras, principals, school counselors, nurses, reserve teachers; all of us who teach children through our presence!)
These new times of teaching and learning are turning our worlds and what it means to BE a teacher upside down!
While you are busy creating virtual spaces for your students and maybe even physical spaces of learning for your children,
I wanted to create a space for YOU
so you can find at least 5 minutes each day where you can let your guard down, feel like someone is holding space for you, and find inspiration, guidance, ideas, perspectives, and practices to encourage you to stoke your mental and emotional health during these uncertain times.
Core Beliefs of Present TeacherTM
Teaching is a calling, and this calling is our most important and precious source of powerful mental, emotional, and spiritual energy.
The ultimate sacrifice, ourselves, is not an option for any educator. We must be healthy, whole, and embodied to be fully present for our students so they feel seen, felt, and understood, and because our purpose on this planet should bring us closer to ourselves (not further away).
We can learn to METABOLIZE stress to BURN IN to our mental health, emotional intelligence, and self-vibrancy! We can leverage stress to stoke the best parts of who we are. We can then inspire, influence, and make an impact as educators that is in alignment with our values and personal integrity.
"We teach who we are," (Parker Palmer) so taking deliberate and intentional care of our minds, bodies, and spirits IS how we best serve our students, our own children, peers, parents, family members, and the broader community. Our vibrant, alive, happy, and healthy personal PRESENCE as teachers is our greatest professional asset AND greatest source of personal well-being.
The Three "B"s of Teacher Well-Being
Trans-forming Crisis to Calm & Creative Teaching
The A,B, and C of Teacher Soul Health
We do not talk nearly enough in teacher prep and professional development about the
soul/ spiritual health of our educators....and there is plenty of research to teach us.
We know a lot from the research about burnout and moral injury in the profession of education, but now it is time to turn our full attention to the ORIGINS of teacher soul health so we can be on the offensive with our mental and emotional well-being.
We became teachers because we felt called to serve, help, heal, and teach, and this calling is our soul's work. If our soul is unwell because of burnout and neglect, we simply cannot do what we came here to do-- influence and inspire our students with contagious passion and positivity that they, too, are here to find what brings them alive and to track that purpose down with perseverance.
Come on back soon to discover the A, the B, and the C of teacher spiritual health.
The research confirms it--
a healthy spirit and soul is your compass through
chaos and unclear times.
We cannot just "think" our way through the unknown anymore. We need to tap into our intuition and inner-intelligence if we want to know how to move forward in ways that serve the collective well-being of ourselves, our peers, and our students (and their families).
Settle into this grounding meditation to train your body to calm itself when anxiety, uncertainty, and overwhelm take hold. This guided meditation will:
slow your mind,
relax your parasympathetic nervous system,
douse your body with feel-good awareness
Gimme Some Space, Please
This meditation is pretty self explanatory!
In this new time of social distancing, we can find ourselves stuck in our homes feeling like we just need a little space for ourselves. As mother, I can attest to the reality of fleeing to my closet for just a couple minutes to get a little peace and quiet for myself. Well, do that and take this meditation with you! Try this meditation to see for yourself how powerful just a little bit of quiet space can change your presence and outlook on everything.
Perseverating on the Positive
Where we choose to direct our attention matters significantly if we want to improve our mental and emotional health as teachers. This guided meditation will create space for you to gently guide your thoughts and perspective to all the silent beauty and micro-miracles hidden in the current state-of-the-state for our teaching practice these days.
Slower days, more space for yoga, walks with pets, coloring contests with the kids, family time, freedom from rigid schedules, more time to cook, eat....etc...
Perseverate on the positive, teachers! You will be amazed at all the things to be grateful for that are not seeking your attention. They exist!
to Our Students
Compassion and wishes of well-being are the good kinda contagious!
We miss our kids and during times of social distancing, it is normal and natural to worry about how are students are doing and if they are getting the emotional, physical, and intellectual support they need and deserve during these times.
While our worry is natural, we need to protect our mental health by noticing when our worry and anxiety about our students starts to deplete our energy. Take a moment to play with shifting your attention and energy to shooting out positive vibes of compassion and wishes of well-being when your students cross your mind!