The final bus leaves the school. There is a collective sigh as another week finishes.
As you look at your colleagues, you see many shoulders hunched over, exhaustion written across their faces. You realize that if you had a mirror, you would probably look the same.
It’s no surprise that you see this in your school. In the 2019 Educator Confidence Report published by HMH and YouGov, three-quarters of teachers—along with 88 percent of administrators—agreed that stress from their educational environments made it more difficult to be their best in the classroom.
The Importance of Teacher Well-Being
Self-care for teachers matters because unhealthy educators can’t help students. It’s time we are open and honest with one another about our own overall health and well-being. When we can have these conversations with one another, we can better support our own physical, emotional, and mental health.
Before we talk about ways in which we can support our own health, let’s first be sure to work from the same information.
- There is a health continuum in which we examine our own current well-being. We all can self-identify on this continuum from "needed expert help" to "feeling strong and successful on our own."
- Our own well-being journey is about our own well-being. It’s about being better today than we were yesterday. Our own well-being isn’t a competition with anyone else.
- Social-emotional learning (for students and adults) isn’t just another "thing" on the plate. It’s not even the plate. SEL is about the person holding the plate . . . in other words, us!