This morning a I had a conversation with an ex teacher.
Sadly this teacher lasted only 8 years in a profession she was truly passionate about. However the burn out, bullying and workload was far too much too put up with, despite her love for the students and despite her love for the job.
We chatted about numerous things to do with teaching, education and students, but mostly our conversation led back to one place…
Teacher health and well-being
This teacher, after following my facebook for a while, reached out to me to chat, she shared so many things, but the message was clear – she now realises that she isn’t alone, that she isn’t crazy and that teaching is hard.
After 8 years this teacher decided not to return the classroom. Instead, she decided to pursue another option. Both her and her partner decided that teaching was not the best thing for her to keep doing. ‘Just getting on with it’ and ‘hanging in their’ were no longer options.
Crying each morning, feeling like no one values the work you put in and not having the support you need is no way to live. Enough is enough she decided.
But now what? Here’s the thing… This teacher actually had no idea who she was without being a teacher. She was a teacher. That is how she knew herself. That is how others knew her. That was her identity.
She recalled a time someone asked her her favourite colour… Such a simple question, yet she couldn’t answer. She didn’t know. However ask her her student’s favourite colours and she could tell you them without any trouble at all.
Teachers – listen when I say this… You are more than a teacher. You are a person. You are a person first and teacher second. Know who you are. Be proud of who you are. Stand up for you, your values, your beliefs. You are worthy.
All of you are worthy. You do a job only a select few can do. However, don’t let this become who you are. You are you first, and then a teacher.
Know your favorite colour.