Fellow educators, what a bizarre time we’re in. As the public health crisis has snowballed throughout the month of March, teachers are scrambling to figure out how to address the needs of students—identifying workable, engaging ways to teach remotely; quickly getting up to speed on a host of apps and resources; and trying to stay on top of the barrage of directives and guidelines coming from multiple directions at once.
Dealing with the moving target of educating your students would be enough of a challenge right now! But on top of that, personal life is extra demanding too. You might be establishing homeschooling routines for young ones and/or attending to elders. Not to mention filling the pantry, tracking down more hand sanitizer, rescheduling the annual checkup, and trying not to freak out about that sniffle you’ve developed. And then there are the relatives and friends––are they safe? Handling social distancing OK? Experiencing job insecurity?
In the midst of all this, how are you doing? Are you so focused on the needs of your students and loved ones that you’re at the bottom of your list? If so, you wouldn’t be alone! Educators are a special breed. Our hearts and minds reach out with alacrity to the task of helping young people learn under any circumstances––even a global pandemic.
Yet it’s vital that you take good care of yourself. Partly, this is just good professional practice. Feeling grounded will help you continue to access your ability to creatively problem-solve. But beyond increasing your capacity to continue helping others, your well-being matters because you, as an irreplaceable being on this planet, matter.
Starting next week, we will offer a weekly series of self-care practices for teachers. Think of this series as a toolbox of strategies for dealing effectively with anxiety and overwhelm, and for replenishing your inner resources. The quick, effective, easy-to-implement practices include:
- Breathe . . . Keep Breathing
- Engaging Wisely with News and Social Media
- An Antidote to Just Muscling Through
- Listening to Silence
- Dealing with Constant Change
- Practicing Goodwill as Self-Care
- Setting Intention and Letting Go of Results
- Reducing Stress Through Body Scanning
- Attending to Our Feelings
- Inhabiting the Dignified Stance of “Adequate”
- Concluding the Teacher Wellness Series: Moving Forward with Wellness
We look forward to supporting you with your self-care as we all move together through the COVID-19 crisis. May we face this challenge in a way that leads to greater capacity, resilience, and connectedness than ever.
Read the first Teacher Wellness practice in the series here.