Teaching is an immensely rewarding profession, filled with moments of joy and inspiration. However, it also comes with its fair share of challenges that can leave educators feeling drained, overwhelmed, and even disheartened. As dedicated teachers, we pour our hearts into our classrooms striving to make a difference in the lives of our students. Amidst the demands of the profession, coupled with external factors like seasonal affective disorder and winter blues, the concept of building resilience in teachers takes center stage as an essential skill for navigating those emotional hurdles.
Recently, I've been facing the challenges of seasonal affective disorder, commonly known as the “winter blues” or seasonal depression. I've been struggling to find inspiration and motivation, something I'm sure many of you can relate to. However, I firmly believe in sharing my journey honestly because it serves the greater good and aligns with the purpose of this podcast.
In the past few weeks, I've allowed myself to experience these emotions fully, to sit in silence, and to deeply contemplate what sparks excitement within me. It hasn't been easy, especially with the overcast days, unpredictable weather, and the demanding and extreme behaviors in my classroom of 28 kindergarteners. Yet, amidst it all, I've decided to take a step back and reflect on the progress the Burned-In Teacher Podcast has made. While doing so, I stumbled upon a blog post I wrote back in 2016 titled "Dear, Sad, Lonely, Depressed Teacher." I felt compelled to share this with you, as it appears to resonate with the themes explored in recent podcast episodes and articles I've come across on Instagram.
Before delving into that, I want to acknowledge the importance of seeking support from fellow educators who truly understand the frustrations we face. Whether through the Burned-In Teacher Podcast Facebook group or other specialized communities for your grade level or subject, these connections can provide invaluable assistance.
Additionally, engaging in physical activities or immersing oneself in a captivating book can have a profound impact on our mood and well-being. Finding a hobby we enjoy and making time for it, free from any excuses or obligations, is a powerful way to rejuvenate our spirits.
While addressing our challenges, taking action is paramount. Identifying the root causes of our feelings and formulating strategies to address them can be life-changing. It's essential to remember that taking action doesn't necessarily mean making drastic changes. Sometimes, it's about making small, purposeful adjustments to our daily routines or perspectives.
Furthermore, freeing ourselves from the shackles of external influences and negative emotions can make a significant difference. Setting clear expectations for respectful interactions with our students and colleagues can foster an environment of cooperation and mutual support.
Let's not underestimate the impact of our own attitudes and beliefs in this process. It's essential to question whether our assumptions about others' intentions or perceptions are accurate. Engaging in open, honest conversations can often reveal underlying issues and pave the way for resolution.
Above all, remember that your feelings MATTER, and you are IMPORTANT. Seeking support, taking purposeful actions, and believing in your ability to overcome challenges can lead to profound personal growth.
If you find yourself feeling isolated and alone and would like support, remember that the Burned-In Teacher Community is here for you. Whether through the podcast group on Facebook or reaching out to me via email or Instagram, there's a network of understanding individuals willing to lend their support.
Together, let's continue our journey of growth and become Burned-In Teachers, embracing life's challenges and opportunities with a sense of purpose and determination.
Thank you for joining me today, and until next time, take care!