Updated: Mar 21
If you were asked what drives you crazy about teaching or what you love about teaching, what would you write? How can you improve your mental health as an educator? Read to learn more.
What do you love about teaching!
What drives you crazy!
Recently I asked this question at two different teachers' conventions in Alberta. These are a small sample of some of the answers given. As you can see, people love the kids and the connections that they make, and the relationships that are so important. And, they also have difficulties with the workload, funding, resources, behaviors, class size, and so much more. Many people just laugh and say that I don't have enough paper for all of the rants that they have as a teacher. It wasn't a joyful laugh.
"You don't have enough paper for all of my rants," they laughed
The fact is, teaching is much more difficult than it's ever been. As an educator for more than 30 years, I have seen a lot of changes but the one that is most troubling is how difficult teaching is for so many people. I've spoken to student teachers, brand-new teachers, veteran teachers, administrators and so many more. What they all agree with is that teaching is hard.
Teaching is hard!
When I explain that the workshops we teach with SILA Skills are based on DBT-informed skills, they often ask me what DBT is. I explain that it's all about acceptance and change. Acceptance of all of those things we rant about and the fact that we can't change them, and finding the capacity and the resilience to be who we want to be so we can enjoy all of those things that we rave about with teaching.
We CAN find the capacity and resilience for teaching.
Unfortunately, many of us get lost in the negative side of teaching. We don't have the connections or the tools to manage our own emotions and so we are affected deeply by the stressors that are all around us. We finish the day and we wish we had done things differently. We get home and cannot handle the emotional needs of the people in our home. It feels overwhelming. And for many of us, it is overwhelming.
It can be overwhelming.
What I tell everyone who comes and talks to me is that these skills work. I know it because I've experienced the impact of using them. I know it because I have observed their impact on the people who have learned these skills for themselves. They truly make a difference.
Maybe you're not a teacher. The concept is still the same.
So next time you are faced with a question like the one I gave teachers, what would you write? Would you be drawn to the rant side or the rave side? Maybe you're not a teacher. The concept is still the same. We can get lost in the negativity of our jobs and forget why we loved it in the first place. With skills, we can acknowledge that both are part of our lives and we can have the resilience and capacity to be our best for our students, clients, colleagues, and the people around us every day.
Skills can help us remember WHY we loved our jobs in the first place.
Would you like to learn more? Check out our website or follow us on social media. We'd love to share these skills with you!
Let's get back to what we love about teaching!