World Mental Health Day

Last Wednesday was World Mental Health Day. A big reason I started this blog was that I felt my mental health was decreasing.  Is that okay to say? Are teachers allowed to say they struggle with mental health? It is a scary thing to put out there. I’m nervous to even say it. What if a parent sees this an decides they do not want his/her child in my classroom because of my struggles?! It has been my constant fear and probably makes things worse for myself because I live under a cloud of shame.

It is something I finally admitted to myself in college and pursued help but I am guessing that I dealt with in high school as well. Anxiety. Depression. How are teachers supposed to admit that to their peers? To their administrator? To the world?  I think a big part of me keeps myself so busy that I do not “feel” most of the time. I can live my life and seem happy-go-lucky.  My anxiety however…..

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Pic from Glennon Doyle’s Instagram

This is me in a nutshell. I like to think of myself as laid back but my anxiety kicks my butt.  I have been told by one of my best friends that I am one of the strongest people she knows. Is that a good thing? Or am I just hiding behind a shell? I am thankful that my depression ebbs and flows. It has never been as bad as when my mom died six years ago understandably so I know I can make it through most things now, but anxiety is crazy.

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So I put this all to you in the world. Would knowing that your child’s teacher struggled with anxiety and/or depression make you concerned? Why or why not?

To those teachers that do struggle with their mental health I say, carry on and persevere! Know that there are many teachers out there that struggle as we do. Make sure you are doing self-care.

Self-care is different for every person. For me it is a massage every two weeks and starting this blog. It spending time with my nieces and nephews. What do you for self-care?

 

For those who do not struggle, make sure you are checking in with those around you. We may try to push you away but don’t let us.

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Both pics are from Glennon Doyle’s Instagram

 

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A New Year- A New Intern

Today a new student intern started in my classroom.  Normally they begin before school year starts, but hey we are in education. We roll with what happens around us. I count myself lucky she is with me at all. I was originally assigned an intern before school even started but for unknown reasons it did not work out and the first one never showed up.

I love having student interns in my room. This is actually my third year having student intern(s) in my classroom. While some teachers do not like it or shy away from it for various reasons of their own I will take any that I can get.

So how does this work in my journey to find balance? Student interns typically can be more work, it can slow me down, and means more meetings and planning time. However, I like to look at the flip side of it. I get more adult support in the room. The kids get more adult support and intervention. It means I will be able to take the time to handle kinder kiddo conflict while she continues teaching.  It means she will be able to do an extra intervention group  at the same!  I like to think of it as a win-win situation.

Lucky me too- I get to make an amazing impact on a new teacher and in a way all of his/her future students.  I get to build a relationship with a newbie teacher who can bring all of their ideas to our classroom and I learn from them too.  I am still in touch with my mentor teacher almost 20 years later and look up to her career in the early childhood field.

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This article from Edutopia is great and talks about how every teacher needs a mentor. Did you know that most teacher who leave the profession in the first five years do so because they lack support. Mentors can do a lot to curb this stat.

So teachers (even non-teachers) out there- do you have yourself a good mentor?

Someone who will:

  • Support you
  • Challenge you in positive ways
  • Celebrate your success
  • Listen and Collaborate
  • Be a Safe Space for You (most important!!)

If you do not have a person like this in your life- seek one out immediately!  If there is not one at your place of work, seek one out locally.  If there is no one- email me; I’ll be there for you (now imagine me singing the Friends theme)

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