Episode #43: The Two Sides of โ€œWhat Ifโ€ with Therapist Christina Gawedzinski

Podcast Transcription

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Amber Harper: And what a great day it is! I for some reason today I cannot stop smiling ear to ear so I want to bring you into that joyful space.  So no matter where you are, how you’re listening, who’s around you I want you to say this out loud. “This is going to be a great day!” because it will be. If you decide it’s going to be a great day, it will be a great day. Are there going to be challenges? Of course there are but you get to decide and I don’t care if it's 7pm  on a Wednesday people. Get your mind right and the rest of your body, and your beliefs will follow. So let me ask you something, have you ever felt like you’re so small and insignificant that you can’t make a difference or that the whole weight of all your student’s baggage weighs on your shoulders only? Or like you know you need to change your mindset and your actions maybe even your career choice. Maybe not leaving education but maybe to make a change within your career. In order to meet the my myriad of needs that are out there but also you really need to make a change for your own well-being. If you have or you said to yourself, “I keep doing the same thing over and over, it’s not working and I’m feeling like such a failure”. Then this episode is for you my friend. All you burned and over teachers, I see you. You are on my heart today with this episode. 


Today’s guest that I brought on is amazing! She was recommended from Instagram from  Goodall Stephanie____________ her name is Christina Gawedzinski. She’s a certified school counselor and a licensed professional counselor who has spent years working with those affected by trauma from thickdoms, and caregivers to their helpers like teachers. She’s learning the importance of daily self-care in order to be able to properly care for yourself and for others. Now, and were not talking about the fun self-care. That is also important but were talking about reflecting and asking the what if questions. The two sides of what if. You know we can have the anxiety what if which is anxious avory if your thinking about the Agents of Same. You know, what if this?, what if that? You know having that scarcity mindset and having that irritation surrounding that type of anxious what if but there’s another side of what if that Christina’s would share with us today. That is so transformational in your mindset and you believe that you do have control over more than what you ever thought possible. This month is all about beginning where you are and Christina’s going to give us a lot of tips and strategies to help us to reach our goal of getting out of that burn out by beginning where we are. 


Amber: Christina welcome to the Burned-In Teacher Podcast. I’m so grateful that you’re here today. 


Christina: Thank you very much! 


Amber: So tell us a little bit about you do. I know that you work with teachers and students as well. Can you tell us and to listen on your journey. How you work with teachers now. 


Christina: Well, it’s rather an unusual journey. I originally started out with the State of Missouri as a child service worker. So I worked with a lot of students in child abuse and neglect. I did that for like 13 and a half years. We always had teachers on our multi disclaimer team but they were really kind of that  behind the scenes person to see what are the kids go through. So I really saw a need for some additional support of services for our kiddos. I mean they were struggling with all kinds of transitions in their lives and then expected to go in to the class and beyond task and focus on academics and beyond point and they just really weren’t able to be there and then of course you know the teachers are doing more reflects like do more testing, do more curriculum, find ways, do really engage students but then districts were not giving the resources  to be able to accomplish those big task right. Noticing that need, I decided it would be really important for me to find a way to connect with everybody and get everybody on the same page. So I started my master’s degree program in graduate school. I did school in professional counseling. It was one of those situations where I had a ways on intended on retiring from the state. The State of Missouri it’s always depending on the governor’s position. So there’s a lot of financial struggles in different things like that, that also add to the stress of trying to take care of everything. So uhm, I really wanted to work with students giving them to a plant where they could focus on academics and being a kid. Coz a lot of the kids were not able to be a kid. So once I completed my  graduate work, I went and work in St Louise Public School which is an Urban school as a mental health professional. And I found like there were just a very critical need for meeting student’s mental health needs in order for them to be able to be in the classroom and be productive in a way where they’re going to get the most out of the classroom experience. So then from there I went to a couple of nonprofits pretty much focusing on trauma and then really thinking “Okay, I need to get in schools.” I could reach more students, more parents, more educators, about how trauma and academic achievement without addressing one you can address the other. So that’s kinda where I was and then I went to become a school counselor for _________Missouri. At that position I learned a lot and experienced a lot to recognize real critical need for self-care.


Amber: Are you speaking of self care for teachers or self care for students?


Christina: All of the above.

 Amber: And I can imagine all of those years working specifically with students that  you saw the lack of obviously the lack of support that they were getting in their personal lives and then of course going in to the schools. 


Christina: Right.


Amber: You saw that correlation and it makes me think of that by curious trauma that teachers are dealing with. So was there a specific situation that happened where you saw the need to support the teachers and their self care?


Christina: Oh, absolutely! I think uhm working in Hazelwood it was really kinda fast paced  on the go responsive service position like I had a walkie talkie there are always some former passionate kids just not being able to be in the classroom whether it was melt downs or just not understanding what the teachers wanting. And then, on the foot side the teachers not understanding how am I gonna work with this kids who already has so much going on. We have kids from every grade level that came dark with some heavy baggage. Whether it is from their home environment, witnessing violence within a community then you ad to that their academic struggles because obviously if you are dealing with all the extra baggage you can't really go to the classroom and focus on your ABC’s, Reading and Math not knowing what’s gonna happen the minute you leave the classroom. So it’s kind of a catch 22 cause everybody i this pattern of behavior were we wanna fix it but then we have academic struggles on top of the trauma and everything else that we have going on. So we gotta fix both. 

Amber: It’s interesting that you mentioned that because I’ve seen some really interesting images out on the internet and one of them I believe it was a quote not an image but it says “You can’t take of blooms unless you take care of Maslow first”. 


Christina: Actually that’s what I am going on.


Amber: So what are some strategies that you have working as a counselor in a school. Am I correct?


Christina: Actually I, because of what I was going through I also have to take care of my own self care needs and made some critical decisions and left the education system in some way I’m still in it in education but now I am a school based coordinator where I coordinate therapist for schools to kinda help with dealing with those pretty high needs kids more one on one in individual sessions alleviating some of that pressure from the school  counselors and educators. So they can focus on the kids that need the academics an in those_______


Amber: If you don’t mind sharing I am really interested in hearing a little bit about that story. What cost you to make that transition? Because you know I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Burned-In Teacher Podcast, the website, the support groups, all of that  is not about keeping you where you are. It’s not about getting you out of who you are. It really is about helping you to take the next best steps for you. So, walk me through if you would please your decisions to leave that school or that situation to do what you’re doing now. Because you’re still serving teachers, you’re still serving schools and their students. You’re doing it in a way that better meets your personal needs.


Christina: Right and absolutely and that’s kind of one of the pinpoints of my decisions to make some changes so we are all human and so students come with their baggage but teachers come with  their baggage as well. And so what I was noticing is that as were working working with the students, teachers are also having loads triggering moments and those situations where the like I just don't know what to do, I can't handle this and so they’re not making their self care needs. The kids are not meeting their self care needs, and everybody’s kinda clashing together. Well I love my position, in case it would really connected with the students, teachers, parents, I was at the constant fast paced position. In the critical needs for all the students and the teachers who really worrying me in March of 2018 I was diagnosed with breast cancer coming from the world that I come from in terms  of child welfare and education I found that I always put everyone else’s needs above my own so I also had that mentality of “Okay I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, I can fix this over spring break and we can go ahead and go back to school. I can get back to my kids, I can get back to the one I needed to do. But reality, uhm I need for my own self care kinda smack me straight in the face. I had to make myself a priority and practice what I kinda preach which is really hard. It’s a real big challenge like you know you can always talk to someone else about “Hey! I need you to just take a deep breath, I need you to think in the positives, you could do this, you know I’m a great cheerleader for everybody else but when it came time for me to be like okay, You’re not gonna be able to do this. You’re not gonna be able to push through something, you're going to stop and really take care of yourself and so that’s what I did. I can't say that I did it correctly or exactly the way I probably should have but it did slow me down enough that I need to make some significant changes. So, I think we all kinda have those seasons of burnout you know and some former passion and I think this one was, I don't necessarily felt like I was burned out. I felt like it was a situation like if I don't change what I’m doing now, I’m not gonna get any better to help anybody else. 


Amber: Absolutely!


Christina:That’s kind of what I did. I sat down with my family and I said okay, we’ve gotta do something different. We keep doing the same things, we need to change to a different direction so we actually my husband he got sick over that year as well and so we made those decision with my daughter struggling with being in highschool where she kinda felt invisible so we sat down and said, Here’s my taught. What if? And when we did that conversation of what if, we came to the conclusion, now is the time. So our what if was, what if we didn’t stay in St. Louise? What if we moved to a smaller community closer to  family and friends, Having a change for a highschool for my daughter who’s a junior. What if we took this lead and so we did and then we got a position as a school based coordinator where I’m over 3 districts the rural districts but they are seeing this same high needs for their kids and their staff as we seen St. Louise. So I feel like it's across the board and everyone has this kinda impact in these issues. 


Christina: You know facing breast cancer is not something that ever really goes away. While I am cancer free this time and I meet my doctors like every three months. There’s always that lingering thought that always that little “what if it comes back?” What if I dont have the right results? What if the pain that I am feeling right now isn’t because of new muscle birth or things like that? What if it's something else? So, you kinda always face for that.


Amber: Yeah. I’m so grateful that you shared that piece of your journey with us. Because number 1, I can relate to that we had that same conversation as a family. We’ve  clearly now. I’m so grateful that it wasn’t because of an illness it was because of factors that we just some patterns that we had seen happening with our daughter, with our marriage, with uhm just how we were feeling in general about our certain situation. And we sat down with the family and made a plan to making a move and it wasn’t reactive, it was more proactive. Look we can see things now going in  a way that really meet up our core values so we need to make sure that we are making adjustments that are best for us and that is something that I strongly suggest will all teachers that I worked with. And you’re right, we’re human. We’re not superheroes, you know we have to take action that is best for us you know even if it means believing a position that we know is very important but it its specially when you really needed to focus on your own health, sitting down and really making a list or I Love your idea of that “What if?” You know not the what if with Anxiety stand-point but what we took this chance?, what if we did these? You know what would be the domino effect there? So, you had a couple of points that you wanted to share with us. Today about teachers and these points that you  want to make, come from your experiences with students, with working with teachers who worked with those students and then of course from your own personal life as well. And we’re so lucky now to have a therapist whose here on the podcast with us to walk us through those steps because not only are you coming from a personal standpoint but you’re coming from a research standpoint. Now you know, you’ve gone to school for this, you know what you’re talking about as well. Can you share with us what your points are and what actions that teachers can take to help them move forward from their anxiety or their stress level or you know their frustration. Of course this burnout that so many listeners are dealing with.


Christina: It comes back to a couple of things. 1. For teachers they need to understand why they are on the position that they’re in. I mean, I know the jugs all come around, like teachers take a positions because  they want summers off and different things like that but the reality is, you chose to be a teacher for a reason. What is your why? And I know it sounds very simplistic but you really have to dig deep and figure out what is it that you want to be remembered known for your position? What is your purpose in working with kids because it’s not just the curriculum that your dealing with. You are really their, you are the champion for the kids. You are their cheerleader and so uhm as I work with teachers  and as I talk to teachers one of the big takeaways that I tell them is you need to build relationships. You need to build relationships with your students, with their parents. The more you know about the kids, the more you can help the kids. And the more you help the kids, the more the kids are like you are my safe space, you are my safe person, I’m okay in this classroom. I don't have to be distance, I don’t have to have my walls up. In terms of self care, you have to understand self-care is not selfish, it’s a very critical necessity that if you want to be the best version of yourself, you have to take care of yourself to help others be the best version of themselves. I do different things like you have mentioned. I make list, I do pros and cons when making a decision.  I had a supervisor 1 Clint, would asking in an interview, How are you current in your work/ and some people take that as while I’m on task, on time, you know those kinds of things but the reality is current. What are you doing to make sure you are keeping up with the trends and changes in your world, in your environment. Being current means, understanding trauma. Because right now it’s not, not every kid had a horrendous experience but every kid has been able to witness or connect to some kind of traumatic event just through the news. Just through social media, just through conversations with other kids. So it’s important for them to be very critical of that. I also think one self care piece for teachers is to give yourself permission. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and give yourself grace when you do those mistakes because again, if you think you are perfect at everything that just adds more pressure to your already pressured work kind of thing. 


Amber: Well it’s interesting if you don't mind me saying or jumping in here, it’s interesting that you mentioned that  because when you talk about self care not being selfish, you didn’t talk about you know the fun type of self care. You didn’t  talk about you know, going and ain’t doing shopping or going out for a bottle of wine with friends. You’re talking about the proaction, you know staying current and in really addressing. Oh my gosh, my kids are out of control! Wart am I going to do current on this? That is self care. Because we’re not just complaining about how bad things are or how disrespectful these students are. You’re saying, this is a problem in my classroom and I’m gonna do the work necessary or I'm going to find the resources necessary to get current on this problem and takes steps to fix it like you said building the relationships with students is so important and then I met just talking about just the first day getting to know you bingo! You know we’re talking about deeply getting to know those kids so you could connect with them on a deeper level. And again like you said be their safe space.That is self care. 


Christina: Absolutely! And I think that was one of the things that stuck out the most to me and more things easily. Yes, absolutely go out with friends, do those kind of things and pamper yourself when necessary but self care are also those basic needs. Kinda like we talked about bloom text out of me and Maslow. You know if kids aren’t getting the sleep that they need, or eating the right things or even having a place, a shelter. They’re not gonna be good students for you in your classroom. The same holds true for teachers. If you are not eating right or sleeping enough or doing something to kinds take care of your basic needs, you’re gonna be very easily be triggered. I didn’t have some of the other piece of that would be for teachers to ask for help when they need the help. So creating your own support system in your own network off, you’re right. My kids are out of control, I can’t get them in to simplest things of lining out of lunch, where am I gonna get that information? Where am I gonna go to get that help? And not being afraid to ask for it because it is okay to ask for help just is we would tell our students, if you don't understand something ask for help for it. The same holds true to our teachers and staff. They need to ask for that help. I have a story kinda connected with that. We had a  brand new teacher, and God bless the brand new teachers coz they’re coming in ready and ready to go and then they can easily get burned out with the first semester of the cast, the kind of 


Amber: Mentality, yeah yeah absolutely!


Christina: So, I had first new teacher. She was wonderful but she was completely overwhelmed and by, I would say November of her first year she’s just like “I’m not gonna make it. I’m not gonna make it, I’m probably not gonna come back after ______break. So we sat down and I talk to her. It’s kinda funny, I said I need a couch for my teachers as much as I needed one for my students. But we sat down and I kinda went through what’s your life, what is it that you really want to get out being a teacher? So after we kinda pin point in those kinds of things, we decided we need to look at the positives. You know, nobody can understand the experience of teachers or children, service staffs or therapist or the helpers unless you’ve been inn those positions. So, she really kinda didn’t know who to go to. So she came to me and we’ve created a plan and I had a  jar that I gave her and I said every day I want you to write down 3 good things that happen in your classroom, 3 funny stories that kids would tell. Because literally you cannot make up that comes from kid’s mouth. It just happens. So look at those 3 positives everyday no matter if your hair was set on fire, no matter if someone was running around with scissors. What was it that was really good for that day? 


Amber: Christina, I swear it’s almost like you’re inside the burned-in teacher training program. Like this 3 things through because that is one thing in the reflective journal. Write down 3 things you’re grateful for. 


Christina: Absolutely!


Amber: And they can be monumental, they can be so ________ but taking time to focus on  the positive because as humans, I loved that you brought that backed up to said on something I’m so passionate about.  Is that sort of debunking this idea that teachers are superheroes. They are humans and we have to be realistic about what we can handle and I loved that your second point here is all about your basic needs or daily requirement and not just sleep, not just food but really addressing the positive. And finding and sitting down and that basic need of connection. 


Christina: Yes! Yes.


Amber: It’s so important, and again going back, it's important  for you and your students and it’s important for you. 


Christina: Absolutely! I mean it and it’s important in some with this teachers, she actually you know. She became current in her profession, she became a master teacher. She’s going on her fifth year, she absolutely loves it. She is one of the most positive people in the building. She works very hard with all of her kids. She sees them as kids not as achievement of scores, not as data point. She sees them as kids and everyday as a fresh brand new start. She still continues that tradition today of writing 3 positive things down. It has become a habit for her. 


Amber: It’s so so powerful. 


Christina: And she still encourage people to do it. You know as..


Amber: And that’s just what I’m going to say and now that because you’ve gone through these practices yourself. You understand the need to address it. Like you said,to get current and you do those things when  you bring those practices into your own life. You are then able to become a mentor to others. Because you can have that empathy toward them. I’ve been through these. I know exactly how you feel. I don’t know exactly your exact situation I mean to connect what exactly your situation but I know what it feels like to feel hopeless. I know what it feels to feel completely out of control. Let’s work through this together. Let’s talk,what do you want? Why are you here? But just exactly,I loved that you shared that,that’s so powerful. And that’s a great segway into your  last point which was being reflective in your own self care practices and how critical that is to your well-being and your ability to do the job of supporting kids. 

Christina: Right. We need to be honest with ourselves. I can’t say I worked with kids before and I’m like I’m not proud of that moment, that's not the best of you know,choice of words, choice of position of my body, you now different things like that and I think if we are honest with ourself, and take that time to be reflective. We open ourselves ofs to better possibilities and more  success in our world because you know we have season teachers even not just new teachers. We have season teachers that it’s my way on the highway or you know I should be the one in control of my classroom the reality is we all have moments of not being in control. And so if we allow for a space for that, and we give ourselves graceful we don't do it the way we probably should have, and we reflect on it and know better to do better, I think we put ourselves on a better position. 


Amber:  I loved that! So 2 things you said. Number 1 when you know better, you do better. I mean that’s just my ________. That’s one of my favorite quotes ever. And the second thing you said is about the control. The need for control. You know a lot of the teachers that I worked with Number 1: They are on that  11 year mark or more not saying that I don’t have an audience of teachers who have thought for less years but typically it’s a teachers who’ve been doing this for a long time. They seen the change in the needs of their students. And they don't know how to keep up with those changes to get current like you said. Really is and I  go back to my conversation with ______________ Doctor _____________ back in March. You can’t control or manage other people whether that’s other adult or a six year-old. You can’t, all you can do is connect.


Christina: Right! Absolutely!


Amber: And that goes back to your first and second point.


Christina: Yeah, And you just have to understand it’s okay, absolutely okay for you to not know everything. If we knew everything, then we probably wouldn’t be in  a positions at work we are you know. I learned something new everyday. Random new things everyday so just opening yourself up to them makes you a better teacher, a better educator because ultimately you’re educating people in all walks of your life. It’s not just teacher in that classroom. You’re educating the parents,your educating other staff, your educating family members, friends,different people that you will have within your life just on what you do on a daily basis. So I think that’s critical.


Amber: Yes.  I’m so glad that you mentioned that too because this actually goes in now what were talking about really Beginning Where we are. Being reflective, taking care like backing up, taking care of those basic needs,  and taking care of yourselves, being reflective but you also just kind of touch on the you in burned in which you understand your teacher brand. So these things that we saying with you on a daily basis reflect on our core values. They reflect us and why were there and it really reflects on how people react to us. It all starts with what you laid out for us today. So, I’m so excited to share this episode with teachers because it’s a great way  to kick off the new school year. Especially if you have already started back in August. And things are just not going the way that you wanted.This is a great reminder to step back, make that what if list or the pros and cons we thinking about how you can take care and I loved that. I love when you said about how,what are you doing to get current? And that sometimes the hardest stuff to do. It’s the self care that’s not fun sometimes.


Christina: Right! Right! And I think that’s the piece says,If anyone would should lead this interview and understand, is that you have to decide for yourselves who and what you want to do. So as you look into the future and as you kinda quit your goals and place you can have a really great wonderful lovely goals but if you do not take time to figure out how you’re going to get there, in a realistic practical way then that’s all they ares, wonderful, big lovely goals. 


Amber: Again,you’re reading right from the Ebook. I swear! I swear she’s not listeners but it just proves that it's good practice.  The things that we talked about the people I have come on here.They’re, You are here for a reason Christina because you are just absolutely solidifying what we’ve said before in the podcast and what burned-in teachers was all about. So, grateful that you came in here today.  Now, one more question I have for you and I believe you’ve already answered this but I want to turn the tables on myself. I want to say “I’m struggling.” It’s third week of school and I’m in a new school maybe or I moved to a new grade level or maybe I have the same grade level but this class of students is bringing in baggage and trauma that I’ve never dealt with. You’ve seen the struggle in me and I come and I sit on your office. What is the first thing you say to me?


Christina: I thinkI probably start with Highs and Lows. Honestly you know, What has been something really good that you’ve noticed as your in your first couple of weeks, let them identify them and recognized that and then go into the lows because lows is where you are gonna want to do your work. That’s where if  you want to change but if you don’t recognize some of the good, you’ve really not gonna be in a position to make them change it and so focusing on what is that piece and then saying okay, so that’s the kind of thing you want to have. You want to have those good, positive highs for your week.So you’d have a hand that so what can we do to  get you to that point? And so going to a gamma of different practices and skills and kind of some ways that we can get there but having them focus on that high so that there are more opening receptives as we look at the lows. 


Amber: I loved that idea. And that’s again you know focusing on the positives and the things that you can’t control or that you’re just really good at naturally. 


Christina: Absolutely!


Amber; And then, You know thinking about how you could use those strengths to maybe nurture those lows that you mentioned or those struggles that they’re having at the students. 


Amber: And mindset is everything honestly. We expect for our kids to look at the positives of things or make those good choices and those smart decisions. But if you’re not doing it for ourselves kids are not gonna really grasp it or understand and everybody loves negative like you know everybody can jump on board without negativity of the world but when you start presenting yourself in a positive, open way you don’t have room for that negativity. 


Amber: It’s so so true. And that goes into something new that I’ve created  called the Agents of Same versus the Agents of Change. So I’ve put names to these voices. These negative self talk and I’ve combated that with a positive voices and I’ve named those positive voices and it's so interesting that you mentioned mindset because it's so easy to teach it, it’s a lot harder to put it into action in our own lives because we want to say things like chucker! This always happens to me. I always get that class. This is always the way that things happen. I can just count on it. When in fact we could be talking about, I’m not gonna let challenges affect my attitude. I can do hard things. I might need help with it but I can do these things. This is why I’m here. So that’s the perfect way to end this interview. And i’m just again so grateful for you and your time and were actually going to move in to the Burned-In Teacher lightning round. Have you heard of it? 


So because our conversations gets so serious so quickly I’d like to end again on a positive fun note get to know you better so we do a quick this or that lightning round okay? Are you ready? 


Christina: Yeah, I’m ready. 


Amber: Alright! Chinese or Japanese food?


Christina: Chinese. 


Amber: Yeah, I would have such a hard time answering that question. I love them both. Dogs or cats? 


Christina: Dogs. Even though I have a cat right now. She’s wonderful but she acts like a dog. 


Amber: Do you know what, I was gonna say well, I don’t want to trade you that. I was gonna say so a lot of my listeners  they know my dog Oliver. It’s the first dog we own as a family and we had him for 5 years and I realized out of those 5 years, I love Oliver but I think I could be a cat person. 


Christina: Wow! Very nice. 


Amber: Because of the needing, he’s so needy. He’s __________next to me all the time. 

And the last question is, train or plane? 


Christina: Probably, train. Of so much you see on the news. 


Amber: Oh! I might use train all the time, although it’s slower but I’m not a great flyer. I’m gonna be flying by myself next month to a conference and I’m terrified. So, a lot of positive self talk. 


Christina: You and me both planes. You know as a therapist you think, Okay you have all this talking skills you got to put them in practice that is always the case.


Amber: Nope! It’s definitely, it’s not lack of control, I’m not gonna lie. 


Christina: Absolutely right! 


Amber: Christina, Thank you so much for your time today. I’m so grateful you are here and I know that the listeners of the Burned-In Teacher Podcast we're going to get so much value out of your topics and discussion and your tips today.


Christina: Well thank you so much for having me. 


Amber: I know you heard me say it before but I’m going to say it again. So good! I feel that this is one  that we could play again and get even more a lot of the second or third time around. And I’ve done that before. You know I’m a podcaster but I listened to a lot of podcast and when I hear one that feel like helps me to really create a plan for change, I listened to it and I really let it sink in. So here are the main take aways. Understand your why in the position that you’re in. Number 2, self care isn’t selfish. Any kind of self care. Number 3, ask yourself how am I current. The fourth thing is give yourself permission to make mistakes embrace when and you make them because  you will make them. That is a really important part moving forward to make the changes. The fifth thing is, if kids are getting the sleep that they need and they’re not eating  well they won’t be good for you. The same holds true for yourself. If you don’t take care of your basic needs, you won't be good for them. The sixth thing is ask for help. And the seventh thing is be reflective of your own self care practices. When you know better, you do better. And that all starts with you taking time to get quiet and think what if. What if I did this differently next time? What if I ask for help with this thing that I’m really struggling with? What if I make a scary change? So, as you begin where you are month. I want you to think of self care as proaction.  If you have a big problem in your classroom or your school, what are you doing to get current and solve that problem? Or at least make progress towards supporting yourself and your students when there is something clearly not working. Ask yourself and I want you to write this down. Share them in the Burned-In Teacher Facebook group at facebook.com/groups/burnedinteacher What is your why? What are some positives that we can look for and focus on everyday I want you to write down 3 good things or funny things that happen. Look at them everyday, reflect on them, and of course get current. Use your own story and experience this to develop and empathy for what others are currently going through. If you’re going through some stuff, you’ve gotta get current. Take some action, make plans and finally make a what if list. What if I changed my beliefs, my procedures, my habits. What if I change my position? What if I (insert what needs to happen next) as you move into next day, the next week, the next month, and Anxious Avory sets in, What if it’s not a positive what if? I want you to answer with go with a flow friend. I’m not going to worry about things I can’t control. I’m gonna answer something here. But I’m going to have the courage to take control of the things that I can control. It’s all up to you. Take a deep breath and see you next week. Burn on!

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