The constant message I have been getting from my peers is how burnt they are and they have only been back to school for a month! My heart breaks because there are so many great teachers out there who are struggling with the weight of their educational world on their shoulders. The "Grin and Bear It" crowd that wants teachers to just do their job is already wearing thin on educators.
There are teachers that are leaving the profession and not looking back. I do not begrudge those teachers. Mental Health has to be number one for people. If you can't take care of yourself, how can you take care of others.
One of the things I want to remind everyone of is to find your people. Find those close people that can listen to you vent. Those people that understand what is like to go through the ringer the first couple of weeks of school. Teachers are not encouraged to share their mental health feelings publicly like many professions. If we want to normalize mental health conversations in the education community we have to start having these conversations publicly.
There is nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to mental health. I am treated for anxiety and depression. I'm no longer embarrassed of that fact. By being open about this, I have helped other educators and some students. They felt comfortable to reach out for support because they knew I was someone who would understand. Before we can truly support the mental health of students, we need to build a network that supports teachers and their mental health. It will look a little different for everyone, but we have to start working on connecting and supporting. It could be teachers jumping on the Peloton for a 30 minute rock ride to get the stress out of our system, or it might be virtual Yoga or Meditation as a group.
There tons of ways to support one another we need to think of how we can do it because nobody is just going to do it for us.
Sending all of you big virtual hugs and high fives,