Updated: May 2
Starting with you and your colleagues
In March of 2020, school districts, administrators, teachers, and support staff had to pivot on a dime to try and make the best of an unprecedented situation. Over two years later, we must have a paradigm shift in the way we approach students of all ages; their wellbeing, social emotional growth, and mental health must be at the forefront of our educational approach. If we don’t make significant adjustments to our teaching and the way we approach learning, society is going to feel the ramifications of the pandemic for many years to come.
If we are talking about SEL and how “WE” as educators need to infuse more of this as “Good Practice” into our classrooms and to our students on a daily basis, are we practicing it ourselves??
If we look at the framework prior to us implementing SEL into our classrooms, we should be actively practicing it in our school community and as a staff.
Click here to learn more about the Fundamentals of SEL .
How is your school community? Your School Culture? Do you have staff members you consider friends or are you even friendly? Is SEL a supported topic in your building?
I have been a special educator for 27 years, taught multiple grade levels, and held various classroom roles. I have worked in two, starkly different school districts, and have had unique experiences in both. One of the similarities in both districts is that I have met and fostered some of the most meaningful relationships in my life. I want to get up and go to work, because kids are my business…but I also want to see my people.
Click here to learn more about Why Workplace Relationships Matter .
Now, that doesn’t mean I always agree with or love everyone. I am not a rainbows, unicorns, and balloons revolving around all of us kinda of chick. I tend to be a very whatcha see is whatcha get, kinda person. However, I am team oriented, “We Over Me.” I am all about lifting each other up, even when that person may not be “Your Cup of Tea.” In this Endemic climate where we are not necessarily feeling depressed, we are still tired and moving through the motions (everyday feels like Groundhog Day). We are not our best, but not our worst. I believe it is now more than ever when we must lift each other up.
Click on the link That Blah you are feeling is called Languishing .
It’s time for us to regroup, reset, and remember WE ARE EDUCATORS! Our jobs have never been easy, we have had to pivot hundreds of times throughout our lessons, our day, our year; adjust to new students, curriculum, and protocols. Nothing has been taken away, just added. Now more than ever, we have to raise each other up, stick together, pass along best practices, and model in ourselves that we would like our students to emulate. This is a tall order, but I believe we can do it while focusing on 3 priorities.
WE OVER ME - the understanding that you are part of a larger community has a greater impact than one may know. Your role in your school community whether a veteran teacher, administrator, custodian, paraprofessional, or lunch aid holds an influential impact on every person you interact with each day. One never knows what another may be dealing with and being part of a supportive and connected school community could be a very steadying experience for a child.
SELF REFLECTION- is not always easy. It could mean recognizing a lesson that you spent hours preparing didn’t go over as well as you saw it going. It could mean identifying and accepting in oneself that you may not have been the best version of yourself to a student, colleague, or parent. When you make mistakes and own them in front of students, you are modeling behavior that leads to overall growth as a lifelong learner. Click this link to learn more about Health and Stress Management .
Managing responses to STRESS AND ANXIETY - in this endemic environment is an arduous task but is of paramount importance. Stress and anxiety are part of our everyday experiences. Some stress is needed to have us perform well and grow. However, we do need to recognize and respond well to our stress levels. As educators, we can model for our students how we cope with our own stressors and anxiety, but in order to do that, we need to be able to respond in a healthy way. Not everyone has the same idea when it comes to stress relieves, but it's important, so go find YOUR way.
For example, yoga, meditation, Sudoku, chess, hitting a bucket of golf balls, softballs, shooting hoops, riding a bike, taking a walk, taking a nap, read a book, watch the stars, sit in nature, call a friend, light a candle, turn off all electronics, pet a furry creature, go to the park, create your brown coffee break, view some art, forgive someone, engage in small acts of kindness, give thanks, make some music, dance to some music, read poetry, write a letter, read or watch something funny, climb a tree, go for a hike, color with crayons, eat a meal in silence, walk outside. Give it a go and explore ways to find YOUR way.