School leaders note: Teachers care more than they care about themselves

If you burn in a fire, you treat the wound first, but you also try to extinguish the fire. In education, we heal the wound and then set our teachers on fire again. Sorry for the pun but they are burnt to ashes, they are burnt.

Chelsea Prax, program director at the American Federation of Teachers, gives a brief summary.

“You can’t take a deep breath to get out of an epidemic; You can’t get out of a terrible class shape; You can’t find a way out of ‘personal behavior’ structural problems, “she says.

This quote, which comes from the appropriate title piece of Education Week, Teachers aren’t okay, although we need to have them, It is one of the numerous articles, reports and statements in which teachers are under stress and have a purposeful but flawed approach to telling teachers to save themselves.

Just last month we read:

But the only remedies we present revolve around “self-care,” namely relaxation, relaxation, meditation, physical activity, and yoga. Basically, it is up to you to save yourself. There is no doubt that these strategies are useful for wound healing, but they do nothing to eliminate the cause. For many teachers, “finding time for yourself” is both impossible and, in itself, creating stress while finding time is not a viable option.

Larry Fellazo, an award-winning teacher who writes a popular educational blog and teacher advice column, recently Wrote“I teach in almost ideal conditions and I am tired after the first month of this year. I don’t know how others are handling things that are less than ideal. ”

Experts are tired. Experienced are tired. We can safely assume that even those who are new to the business are tired.

So, what do we do?

We should stop expecting teachers to save ourselves and instead start paying attention to the group climate and culture of our schools. We need to improve the environment that teachers get every day and minimize stress and increase the support available in that setting. Collaboratively, we should start addressing the systems that have helped promote it that have created a lot of stress in the first place.

If you just focus on taking care of yourself, we just impress at the top of the wellbeing pyramid I designed. The result is not only temporary but it often rises up against helpless environments and unresponsive systems. We should focus on group interactions and focus on our school cultures and then we should focus on the root causes. We pay the most attention to ourselves but we should pay more attention to the group and finally the system.

Sean Slade, 2021.

As teachers, or in fact anyone who works with children and young people, we have little influence on our system प्रणाली scheduling, support, collaboration time, funding, duties, responsibilities and accountability systems. But we have a lot of influence on the group and as a result our culture and climate in school. It is a reflection of how we — adults वा treat each other. How we communicate, how we react and how we support each other.

And while everyone in the school setting, from students, to staff, to families, influences culture and the climate, the person or persons who have the most impact on our school culture are our school leaders. My colleague Alyssa Gallagher and I. Wrote Earlier this year, “Headmasters have the right to set the tone and establish a new order of business in the school. Headmasters provide academic credibility to almost any initiative that is a champion and therefore most school teams buy. ”

How do we do this?

We begin by expanding and improving the ways we communicate and the ways we react to each other. These skills can be learned and enhanced, but in general they revolve around basic understandings and actions.

  • Identifying individuals, both personally as well as professionally
  • Demonstrating the human side of our cooperation and leadership
  • Enhancing our own understanding of how we react and interact with others
  • Adjusting our communication and leadership style.

We lose in the middle and long game if we focus only on our own care without finding the causes of stress. We need to start focusing more on the interactions that affect the place where we work and the culture. All of this will not reduce stress (most stress comes from your system), but if we continue to build our schools into a place of care, support, and positive interaction, we begin to buffer system stress and support self-care. It can happen.

It is not the teacher’s responsibility to protect and take care of himself; It is our responsibility to help ensure and develop a safe, supportive environment with them.

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