Heading 1NDMTSS Conference
Teachers have always needed to know and practice protective strategies in their social emotional first aid kits to manage the daily stressors of working on the front lines of a human-service oriented profession. That need has never been greater given the massive increase in uncertainty and unpredictability in the teaching profession and in one's personal life due to COVID.
In short, teaching is emotional labor-- the effort required to manage and metabolize strong emotions like anger, shame, guilt, anxiety, and overwhelm, as well as generate and stoke positive emotions like joy, hope, and compassion.
Stress significantly diminishes a teacher's capacity to regulate their negative emotions and cultivate positive emotions. Ironically, teachers who leave the profession often cite their inability to cope with their own emotional reactions to loss of control, unpredictability, and lack of purpose in their teaching as the primary reason for burnout.
There are many, many strategies and practices rooted in cognitive and affective neuroscience and social and behavioral sciences that teachers can learn, practice, and integrate into their personal and professional lives as teachers to metabolize stress, manage negative energy, protect themselves from the burnout cycle, and find joy in teaching the whole year through!
In this session, teachers will:
Explore the core elements of the teacher burnout cycle and learn how to protect one's self from the 2 paths to burning out,
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!