A recent Gallup poll shows that 44% of K-12 employees say they “always” or “very often” feel burned out at work. We sense it too, as articles focused on happiness, resilience, and recharging are typically the most read on our website. As we return from winter break it’s time to band together and do what we can to support each other and our emotional well-being for the second half of the school year.
Watch as Sydney Jensen shares her concern for what is happening to her fellow educators, and try using a few of the methods below to support your colleagues and teacher friends.
How can we help each other “hold the stapler”?
- Learn about secondary trauma and compassion fatigue together. Talk about these issues, realize the impact, and problem solve with your colleagues about how to overcome them together.
- Make space for conversations that matter. Talk about what is going well and what is really challenging. Encourage discussions about emotions and how teachers are feeling about the things they cannot change or control for students. And then…LISTEN to each other! Really listen.
- Work together to ensure mental and physical wellness opportunities are available at school. Develop a Wellness Wednesday! Bring in yoga instructors, learn about mindfulness together, and encourage healthy lifestyle choices related to eating, moving and sleeping. Students and teachers all benefit this way. Identify community and school-based resources that could be helpful, highlight them, and encourage colleagues to utilize them. Decrease the stigma related to asking for help or using support systems.
- Check in! Ask your colleagues how they are doing. Sometimes all that is needed is someone to listen.
- Send a handwritten note to a colleague! Share your gratitude. Be specific about why you are thanking them. Tell them what they do well. Remind them they are making a difference every day in their work with students. Believe it or not, they will keep these notes, and they will go back and read them on the most challenging days.
No matter how you choose to help each other “hold the stapler,” remember that we are all in this amazing, rewarding profession together!