Educators are realizing that their wellbeing is important.
They are starting to prioritize self-care as a means of professional and personal development. The ultimate act of self-care is a self-compassion practice, where we as educators learn to treat ourselves kindly in times of stress and overwhelm.
This can have a significant impact on our personal wellbeing and the classroom environment.
We need to prioritize the wellbeing of educators so we can truly support our students from a place of positive presence and connection. Over the past few years, I researched, observed, and brainstormed, and I created a solution: the AWE method.
The AWE method takes you through the ABC’s of reclaiming and awakening your well-being and your joy of teaching. Through the AWE method, I help organizations and individual teachers create cultures of resiliency, self- compassion, and awareness. Educators develop wellness habits for themselves first, and then their families and classrooms second. This creates a ripple effect of wellbeing.
By learning the “ABCs” of wellbeing, educators dig deeper into the WHY, the HOW, and the WHAT we need to do to create school systems that support our wellbeing, and the wellbeing of our students.
ANCHOR – the WHY of educator wellbeing: This is the first component of the AWE method.
Anchoring Wellbeing for Educators: Learning WHY educator wellbeing is foundational.
Do you often feel exhausted, overwhelmed and weary at the end of the school day?
Do you find yourself counting the days to every long weekend, holiday or break in your very busy week?
When is the last time you gave yourself permission to pause and ask, “What can I do to truly care for myself at this moment?”
The first step in building our wellbeing is understanding why mindfulness and compassion are fundamental in helping bring intentional presence and wellbeing back into any area of our personal life, classroom or school. Whether you’re a new teacher or an experienced educator, building a personal practice of awareness can help create a culture of wellbeing throughout the school community.
We need to anchor down into an awareness practice that allows us to ground and become more present in the world around us. The practice of mindfulness allows us to be aware of what’s going on in our internal and external world, and it helps us to recognize both the joy and suffering of what’s happening in our world. If we want to bring a sense of well-being into our classroom it needs to start with us paying attention to our internal landscape of thoughts and feelings.
Mindful self-compassion takes the practices of mindfulness and includes a loving-kindness to ourselves and a realization of shared stress – our common humanity is that we all suffer different times in our lives.
The problem is that the set point of the modern nervous system is somewhere near the fight or flight response, that’s a low-grade chronic stress response happening to most of us all the time. When we’re not paying attention to how quickly this builds, or how to regulate our stress it overwhelms us and we become stressed, sick, or burnout.
Many educators are feeling an intense level of care-giver fatigue these days – they are over-empathizing with students and forgetting to be caring and compassionate to themselves.
As we start anchoring our awareness we become more aware of the internal and external stress in our lives and we begin to notice everything that is going on. This can be overwhelming, so we need to learn how to practice mindful self-compassion in a way that is supporting our wellbeing.
We need to bridge the knowing to the embodying – stay tuned for the next component of the AWE method: BRIDGING – the HOW of Educator wellbeing.
Take a listen to the my podcast on Well at Work by EdCan where I share more about the AWE method.