Mental Health for teachers?

Last week in Canada, it was Mental Health Awareness week. (In the US, Mental Health awareness is a month.)

The theme for Canada was “A Call To Be Kind”.

If we’re talking about being kind, how can we also be kind to ourselves. What might that look like if you’re a teacher?

What if we could forgive ourselves for not being perfect?

The job is too big and everything can’t be done to your definition of perfect.

  • What if we could just mentally pick and choose what we do at the awesome level… and what is good enough.
  • The definition for good enough that I’m using right now is 80% perfect.

Our job is a little funny because first year teachers are expected to do the same job that 25 year veterans do.

  • In fact, I wonder if the teachers who have been around have enough seniority (or clout with the administrators) get their first picks in teaching positions. (Obviously this isn’t always true – sometimes, you get what you get.)
  • Do newer teachers get the less desirable jobs with split grades, multiple courses to prep and tougher demographics? Or has this changed during Covid.
  • What if we could stop comparing ourselves with other teachers? Sometimes I’ve noticed in life that the people who look like they have their s**t together, don’t always. I wonder if some of those “superstar” teachers at your school struggle somewhere, somehow…

If you were going to be kind to another teacher, what would you do?

  • Sure, be kind to another teacher and do that. But what if we could also be kind and do that to ourselves?

If you asked your students to generate a list of kind things they could do, what might that list look like?

  • Then check out this social-emotional learning unit on creativity. What other themes could we be creative in?
  • If you asked your students how they could be kind to themselves, what might they come up with.
  • Better yet, what ideas could we use ourselves to be more kind to us?