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 negative bias of emotions profoundly affects emotion contagion. Even low-grade defensive/aggressive states like resentment spread relentlessly from person to person. If someone comes into work resentful, by lunchtime, everyone around him or her is resentful.” – Psychology Today
What You Deserve
Have you ever wondered, “How can the attitude of my co-workers change? How can the energy felt in my school building shift? How can we reverse the negativity felt in our meetings?”
It starts with just a ripple.
If you receive these Livable Lessons, it’s because you already recognize the power that health and happiness hold on teachers’ abilities to feel fulfilled and positive. Moreover, you already recognize how health and happiness affect the way teachers face the physical and emotional challenges of the job. It’s a lot more overwhelming to spread that understanding to other teachers in your school.
A tidal wave of change within a school cannot happen overnight; such significant change has to begin with small ripples. What does this mean exactly?
Small ripples start to gain momentum and strength when one teacher at a time experiences a shift in their overall health and happiness. They start to recognize how deeply connected their physical and emotional health is to their positivity. They start to recognize how differently they handle particular stressors of the day when they are incorporating strategies to prioritize their health every day. They start to recognize the choices they make daily concerning their habits impact their day-to-day experiences as a teacher.
These aha moments within individual teachers naturally spread to others. How? They start to talk about what they have learned. Others notice how they embrace positivity before judgment in meetings. Co-workers see how they proudly state their boundaries and follow through. The lightness that they exude is noticed more and more. Suddenly, other teachers want to learn what they have done to feel this type of shift. And then, more and more ripples begin to form.
There are three C’s that will ultimately help to cause those initial ripples within a school:
Wellness is new for many. There are many people set in their ways who are not quite ready to embrace change, especially regarding their habits. Therefore, it is not a great idea to require all staff members to participate in wellness-related workshops or programs.
If you want to create opportunities for your co-workers to learn about wellness, let them choose to participate.
A one-stop shop for wellness will never work. As teachers, we have all attended a one-day (or even one-hour) professional development that was not only required but also did not have any follow-through. You might take some notes during it, feel inspired by a new idea, and even walk away with a new 200-page book as a reference. What will actually change in your day-to-day? Nothing, probably.
Learning and applying wellness strategies consistently is key to creating any meaningful ripples.
Wellness can be very overwhelming, Learning what works for you and what doesn’t work for you is a journey—one that a lot of people would give up on if they didn’t have support. Establishing a safe, comfortable space for staff to learn together is key.
Overall, optional, consistent, and group opportunities for staff members to grow together are key to igniting and sustaining change.
Are you ready to turn ripples into a tidal wave?
Whole Teacher tools to use as support:
- The Whole Teacher Weekly Wellness Guide—a guidebook that provides daily strategies for teachers for six months.
- The Whole Teacher Cohort—a group of teachers who grow together through the guidebook, workshops, and consistent check-ins.
At School: Brainstorm a wellness-related activity for staff to participate that utilizes the three C’s. For example—a “hobby” club. Once a month, teachers who want to participate gather together after school to participate in a hobby. One month could be painting. Another could be making a recipe. Another could be exercising.
At Home: Is there someone in your life who you are trying to encourage to live a healthier and happier life? Can you implement the three C’s to encourage them?
Has your school tried to implement any wellness-related opportunities?
Was one of the C’s missing?
In health and happiness,
Founder of Livable Learning