These four simple words. "How are you doing?" can make all the difference in the world. Teaching in person during the pandemic has led to an increase in anxiety in me and thousands of teachers around the country. Medication and therapy helps, but having someone who takes the time to ask, "How are you doing?" can be a life saver to many people. I have been very blessed with friends who have sent me texts to check in on my mental health and those mean the world to me. My lowest of lows can be overcome when I can exchange a few texts with friends. Think about your teacher friends and consider checking in with them. Stay connected, now more than ever.
Teachers are not the only ones that need to hear these four words. Checking in with students to ask this simple question can lead to very important conversations. Before the pandemic, these four words asked to students led to an outpouring of emotions that they had been carrying for days or weeks and just waiting for someone to care. Reminding students that you are there for them if they need someone to talk to is still important. It stinks that we have to carry our emotional baggage all day and then try and help students lift the load they carry. Each teacher needs to do what they think is manageable. It is not easy, but these are not easy times.
I hope you will take a moment after reading this post and text someone to ask them those four words. We always say we can do it later, but don't do that here. Open up your message app and send them those four words and let them know you are there for them.