I hardly need to express how difficult 2020 was, not just on a personal level for us all, also professionally as educators.
On reflection, I feel part of me was trying to live up to my previous high standards and expectations. I was comparing what I did before as a teacher with classroom management, motivating students, inspiring them and offering emotional support to colleagues to what I was experiencing now. All my classes are PP & many have behaviour issues & specific needs. Furthermore with so much to do, capacity was becoming an issue.
Also a critically ill family member requiring constant physical, emotional and mental support just became too much.
Little did I realise it was all taking a toll on me. Comparing what was, to what is now, and thinking I’m not cut out for teaching any more, I began to drive myself into a downward spiral which eventually made me ill.
Just to squeeze out a few minutes here and there to give give give, left my wellbeing well totally empty…and the worst thing was I didn’t check in with myself to see what was happening.
The difference to dealing with crises before is it would usually be me, my situation or my family, may be someone at work, maybe a few students.
Now, it’s global. The pandemic is affecting every aspect of life as we know it for everyone. This energy, and that of the mass subconscious will be affecting us whether we are aware or not. Feeling limited in what we can do doesn’t resonate well with us. At times it’s felt like all we can do is offer a band aid, and at other times the stresses have turned into resentment and anger.
I’m sure this will be resonating with many.
So, moving forwards there are a few things I’ll be implementing and positioning in my mind and my life :-
1. Continue to do my best every day. Students are struggling, as are families and they will play out their emotions in the classroom. There is nothing I can do to control this.
2. Give myself permission to take time to strengthen myself physically, mentally and emotionally which will help me manage situations better, because that’s all I can do… manage them.
3. Give myself permission to know it’s okay not to be okay.
4. Give myself permission to acknowledge at times I can’t be everything to everyone. I have to put myself first and recharge.
5. Give myself permission to walk away from the work, guilt free, and do things that will increase the happy chemicals in my brain.
6. Give myself permission that’s it’s okay to stop and have lunch … yes believe it or not!
7. Give myself permission that it’s okay to say no if I can’t fit something in. Also to give myself permission to know this is okay and not to judge myself.
8. Give myself permission to have respect for myself and what I do.
What will you be giving yourself permission to do this year?
Thank you for taking the time to read these reflections.
May 2021 bring the light of hope to all, especially in education and the NHS 💖