Teaching is hard. It can drain you physically and emotionally. I don’t want to pretend it is the only profession that does that, but teaching does take its toll at times. There are so many things that can go into how we react to our profession. One thing that has become clear to me over the years, more teachers deal with anxiety, depression, and other aspects of mental illness than I would have ever imagined.
That tells me a few things. First, if you are suffering right now, you are not alone. The stress, frustrations, and frequent isolation from peers while working can augment many of the difficulties we face, but you are not alone. I am inspired by teachers who share their own personal experiences with anxiety and depression so openly. I can only hope it leads to more awareness and less burnout for teachers. Second, the way you approach your job and the way other people around you at your job approach you can make a huge difference.
Each one of us is the hero in our own journey. We are not, however, the hero in the journeys of others. We are merely the other characters in the story. How are you helping? It is something I try to live by in both my professional and personal life. How are you helping others in their own journeys? Or, are you hindering them? Are you the obstacle or the enemy they need to overcome? Too often in education and in life people can get caught up in the details. Little things that in the grand scheme of things that matter only because we want them to matter. Take some time today to reflect for yourself. Are you helping others, or hindering them?
“Look to the helpers” as Mr. Rodgers would say. My challenge is that whenever possible, we should be helpers as well.
In the end, we must decide who we are and who we want to be. I know we as educators already seem to be prone to stress, anxiety, depression, and more. Because of this, I choose to be a light. I am not anyone else’s hero, just something to aide them along the way. Something to help them when the darkness sets in or they need to find their way. I try to live this way. Sometimes I fail, but so do we all.
This same thing applies to kids. They are people too. We can either help them or hold them back.
How are you finding ways to help? How can we help one another?