Unlocking our potential: Strengthening connections, advocacy, and self-care in the teaching profession.
“If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are society’s heroes.”
- Guy Kawasaki
As we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week, it's the perfect opportunity to reflect on the incredible contributions we’ve made in shaping the minds of young people. It's also a time to remind ourselves of the importance of knowing our worth and standing up for it. But how can we put this into practice? What does it look like?
Connecting with our fellow educators
When was the last time you reached out to your fellow colleagues? Sometimes as educators, we don’t share our experiences and offer support to one another. Together, we're stronger. Let’s continue to create a powerful network of teachers who can push for the changes we need in education.
Educating ourselves and advocating on the policies and decisions affecting our classrooms
If we want to spark change beyond our walls, it’s important to stay informed about local, state, and national educational policies and engage in conversations about the future of education. By being active participants in the decision-making process, we can ensure that our voices are heard and that we are part of shaping the future of education. Call your local elected officials, tell them stories about how you impacted a child's life, and encourage them to do what’s right when it comes to supporting your work.
Practicing self-care and prioritizing our well-being
*This is one of the most overlooked aspects of our job.
Teachers are naturally caring people. And sometimes, existing power systems take advantage of this personality trait at the expense of our well-being. At some point in time, we just have to step away from our work. That means no work emails, phone calls or grading over the weekend. That means not feeling guilty because we sometimes didn’t go the extra mile (or a hundred miles).
Remember, we can only give our best when we’re at our best.
Five hours of sleep ain’t gonna cut it. Staying up all night to prepare for a formal evaluation won’t improve how well you teach. Last-minute worrying about state exams won’t change student scores.
I encourage you to find a hobby, participate in an activity, and relax when your body says rest. If you don’t have one, try to make it a mission to pursue one.
For this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, let’s embrace the power of connecting with our fellow educators, staying informed and advocating for policies that impact our classrooms, and prioritizing self-care for our own well-being. By focusing on these key aspects, we can continue to make a lasting difference in the lives of our students and the future of education.