Liv·a·ble (adjective): worth living; enjoyable
Every Livable Lesson will encourage you to prioritize your own health and happiness by:
1. Sparking inspiration from a quote/research.
2. Connecting the quote/research to what you deserve as a teacher.
3. Promoting accountability with related actions to implement inside and outside your classroom.
4. Encouraging reflection with a related wellness question.
“The teacher shortage in America has hit crisis levels…why are America’s schools so short-staffed? Experts point to a confluence of factors including pandemic-induced teacher exhaustion…” (washingtonpost.com).
“A staggering 55 percent of educators are thinking about leaving the procession earlier than they had planned…91 percent say that pandemic-related stress is a serious problem for educators and 90 percent of members say feeling burned out is a serious problem” (nea.org).
“A lot of teachers are not being prepared to monitor and mediate their own mental health” (jhu.edu).
What You Deserve
It’s the reality many are finally realizing: teachers are leaving this incredibly important profession. In my neck of the woods, teacher resignations in local counties increased 45%, 52%, and even 96%!!! (washingtonpost.com).
There are quite a few negative things in the world of education that feel out of an individual educator’s control. For example, the articles cited earlier discuss the issues of low pay and lack of respect. Of course, these are major issues that can lead to teacher resignation and educators will continue to fight for these things. But there’s a huge shift that needs to happen in the education world to maximize teacher fulfillment: prioritizing the health and happiness of every single teacher. Since you signed up for this newsletter, either you already believe that your health and happiness are directly correlated to your fulfillment as an educator or you want to believe this connection.
Think about it—when teachers are not actively managing stress, they are much more likely to react poorly to student misbehavior. When teachers are not eating meals that fuel them, they might start running out of steam by noon. When teachers are not getting enough sleep, negative thoughts can more easily take over the day. Throw the pandemic, low pay, lack of respect, and the day-to-day stressors teachers experience on top of this, and suddenly those resignation statistics are a little easier to understand.
So, it’s time to get down to the root of all this. And that starts with every single individual teacher.
Every teacher has control over their physical health, their mindset, and their state of being every single day. As mentioned before, if one’s mindset and physical health are already on the back burner, any negative teaching-related experience will be amplified tremendously. Any lingering stress spreads, causing frustration, impatience, and annoyance, which then leads to burnout, and ultimately, resignations. It’s a vicious cycle, and the only way to counteract it is to discover strategies to prioritize your own health and happiness every single day.
So, while we fight for everything else that teachers deserve, make sure you are fighting for yourself as well.
At School: Adjust ONE thing about your daily routine at school that prioritizes you. These ideas stem from your personality and are individual to what you need throughout the day.
For example, close your classroom door as soon as you arrive to ensure you have calm, uninterrupted time before the students come. Or, prioritize connections by eating lunch with your teacher friends on certain days of the week (or every day!).
At Home: Do the same at home. Adjust one thing at home that prioritizes you any time of the day or any day of the week.
For example, wake up 15 minutes earlier to do something that brings you joy.
How will you fight for your own health and happiness consistently?
How will you hold yourself accountable?
In health and happiness,
Founder of Livable Learning