"As abolitionists we must be well; we cannot settle for just being alright.
Wellness is a part of social justice work.
Joy is crucial for social change. Finding joy in the midst of pain and trauma is the fight to be fully human." (Bettina Love, 2019)
The core competencies of teacher mental and emotional well-being and social justice work are the same:
the ability to seek joy and find hope and meaning in the struggle,
the capacity to have a wide perspective (especially when stressed and triggered),
the ability to embody kindness and compassion in moments when people (and ourselves) deserve more love...not less.
Teacher burnout is an insidious energetic pandemic, and it dramatically derails our collective social justice work in schools. Teacher burnout dis-integrates the selfhood of the teacher, and when the selfhood of the teacher is disorganized and disconnected, the teacher is not able to show up to engage her/his/their calling from the TRUTH of who they are.
"The heart of justice is truth telling,
seeing ourselves and the world
the way it is rather than the way we want it to be."
Teacher well-being is the perpetual process of metabolizing stress as perfect opportunities to expand our perceptions, explore our biases, deepen our conviction to heal the self, and commit to being kind and compassionate in every moment with our students.
In this session, teachers learn and experience the 3 R's of Teacher Self-Care as Social Justice work:
In this highly experiential learning session, teachers will:
Learn the fundamentals of
REST: Mindful awareness and strengthening one's capacity to calm and settle the mind and body during states of stress
RESTORATION: Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy practices for transforming hard moments and hurt into healing and increased critical consciousness
REVITALIZATION: Creating classroom spaces imbued with kindness and compassion that are build on principles of healing centered design.
Learn how "wellness is wisdom" and how it is a critical part of social justice work.
Explore how teacher critical consciousness, commitment, and conviction are core equity elements of teacher well-being and fundamental to fighting racism and disrupting systems of oppression.
Engage a deeply restorative body scan
Practice METTA/Loving Kindness meditation
Using the Teacher Infinite Well-Being ModelTM, teachers will practice "processing a problem" through the 4 quadrants of the model and explore how to align one's self with their core values and desired justice-based actions during a trigger moment.
Explore strategies to create stress-sensitive and trauma-informed classroom spaces using the 6 qualities of love by bell hooks from her bookL: all about love (2000).