In the last year of Covid-19, most teachers have learned vital life lessons about being resilient. And it hasn’t been easy. As soon as the dark clouds of the pandemic seemed to be lifting and we started to feel relieved, it was time to readjust to the fact that things weren’t improving as quickly as we hoped. Then – and we have all been through this time and time again – we needed to reach down deep into ourselves and find new ways to be patient.
Some Useful Suggestions
We recently read and liked an article, “Ten Tips for Building Teacher Resiliency” that Bryan Harris contributed to the ASCD® blog. If you don’t know the ASCD®, it is a nonprofit educational association headquartered in Virginia.
Here is an edited summary of the suggestions that Mr. Harris offers for teachers:
- Avoid complaining. There is no such thing as a perfect school or a perfect organization, so work to make things better.
- Control your calendar. Schedule time for family, exercise, and fun activities.
- Deal with conflict or difficult issues quickly and honestly.Problems rarely get better if you ignore them.
- Develop a professional support network. Seek out fellow educators for support and collaboration.
- Embrace change. If you are teaching with the same strategies as five years ago, shake things up.
- Find a professional passion. Harris suggests, “Find what you love most about teaching and learning and dive in and become an expert.”
- Humor is one of the best ways to combat stress, and it also makes you more pleasant to be around.
- Maintain perspective.For example, remind yourself that you make a difference.
- Take a risk. Try something new. If you fail, laugh, and learn how to be better next time. If you succeed, celebrate.
- Take care of your body.Diet, exercise, and sleep are fundamental to dealing with stress and building resiliency.
If You Need More Support
Whether you would like to speak with a psychotherapist, join a discussion group for teachers, or just have a conversation with a social worker, you will find many referral services online that can lead you to the source of support you are looking for.
Psychology Today offers an online “Find a Therapist” referral resource, for example, and the American Psychological Association offers an online “Find a Psychologist” resource of its own. Remember that your school system may offer referrals, as may your church, temple, mosque, or another spiritual center.
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