#teacherlife, Teacher reflections

Teacher Self-Care is not Selfish & Why you can’t Ignore it!

I know, I know…

My reaction is the same. You know you should look after yourself but the system is created (especially now) to ensure that you can’t and you care out your kids so it makes it hard not to give all of yourself.

I felt the same until a few years before COVID hit and my body said no for me.

It took a year and 21 days off of work for specialist and doctor visits, multiple invasive tests (I know, I can’t belive I took that many days off either), for me to realize it really was all in my head. NO I was not making it up. I was causing it, or at least letting it happen to me. The prolonged stress had started manifesting itself in my body (and no I did not feel stressed per say, or at least nothing had really changed/caused it).

In the end I had to change how I thought and how I spent my day (at work and at home) in order to heal. I had to prioritize myself (my brain, spirit and body) and my family. It was not easy, but it was worth it.

So when covid hit and:

*my classes of struggling students were left without any supports in remote learning (and no one would listen to my please for help);

*when we returned after the summer and my pre-existing conditions required that I not teach face to face and the board I work for stopped accommodating my need for virtual and did not allow me to use an N95 mask that did not agrivate my condition;

*we went back into remote with mandatory full day synchronous learning; my daughter (who has learning disabilities) couldn’t function in remote learning…

*and I began to feel it in my body again

I said no, and went on a medical leave and you know what? They survived without me and so did I and my family, in fact we did much better than we would have if I had stayed.

Teaching, although amazing and meaningful and even a vocation, is just a job and should not take over your life.

Give yourself some grace (or your body will force you to). This is not a typical year (has not been for the last few years) and to be honest the students need you to take it easy on them.  They are also at the breaking point.

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