I missed my flight home today. It almost broke me. I stood at the counter as the lady rebooked me for a later flight home which would stop me from being able to see my kids tonight, and then charged me full price for another ticket, with tears streaming down my cheeks.
It was that last straw in June… teacher do you know what I mean?
You’re holding it all together. You’ve got each moment planned, you’re going to push through, you will make to the end of June- through the field trips, through the report cards and the long days, and then something unexpected happens and it sets us on a whirlwind of emotion.
Today I spent the day with like-minded educators at the SEL BC summit – bringing together educators across the lower mainland and southern BC to learn about the research around social-emotional learning and relationships in schools. Listening today was validating for me. The focus: educator wellbeing is essential for our students learning.
Burnout for educators is at an all-time high. Research shows that 20-35% of teachers in their first 5 years are leaving the profession and over 60% of educators self-report burnout, yet still feel there is a stigma about talking about these feeling of burnout.
Educators are emotionally exhausted and struggling to build relationships with kids – especially in June. So, what can we do?
- We can share our stories of exhaustion so we know we are not alone and then we can encourage each other through these moments
- We can meet each other and ourselves with kindness and compassion
- We can offer ourselves the time to recognize what we really need to get through these moments
So, that’s exactly what I did tonight after missing my plane… I put on some 90s country music, got myself a very mediocre veggie burger and a cold beer (albeit it was only a Kokanee!).
It helped for the moment… but as I sat and let myself feel what I was feeling and opened up to my disappointment, frustration, and hurt (my mindful self-compassion practice), what I realized I really needed at that moment was connection. So, while enjoying my very average beer I took the time to reconnect with an old friend as we shared stories of the past while imagining what our souls needed for the future.
The power of connection is what will really help us get through to the end of June.
So, educator friends and colleagues – reach out. Be courageous to ask for help, be curious with your colleagues and create a culture of connection. This will get us all through a long school year!
Want to start your year next year talking about educator wellbeing with your staff or district?
I’d love to share my speaker’s package with you and bring the AWE method of compassion, care, and mindfulness to you and your colleagues. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Here’s to getting to the end of June. Cheers: