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Teacher Tired? Your mental health matters.

Traditional teaching tasks have remained static over the past decade.  However, the traditional part of education is just a sliver of what the role now entails.  Rising student mental health challenges, for example, have asked teachers to step into support roles.  Many new non-teaching tasks must occur outside teaching hours, leaving educators scrambling to squeeze the impossibly long list of tasks such as preparing, administration, parent communication, planning, report cards, clubs, sports, and everything else into a day.

 

And let's be honest.  It never gets done. 

That stress is really creating a whole other set of challenges. 

Most of the time, we have an excellent plan to get everything accomplished.  Because, let's face it, we are excellent multi-taskers.  We are capable and skilled.  However, with teacher shortages, our preps get cancelled, or behaviours in the classroom take precious time set aside for such tasks.  Documentation eats up time now, too. 

There's just more of everything.  EXCEPT time. 

The bell still rings. 
The kids come in. 
They expect smiles.  And support.  And lessons.  And differentiated instruction.
Students ask for help, and we help them.
The day ends. 
We get a little further behind.
We squeeze what we can into the rest of the day and hope for a better day tomorrow. 
We continually feel defeated because there are only so many hours in a day, and the list of things we need to do keeps growing.

Before long, the impact of all this begins to manifest in symptoms. 
Worry.  Stress.  Anxiety.  Insomnia.  Exhaustion.  Irritability.  Low Mood.  Overwhelm.

What is imperative in all this rigamarole is that you listen to your body and take care of yourself. 

One therapist once told me to take a mindful minute in the bathroom at school.  I get it!  Although it might be the only minute you have in a workday, it might as well be a mindful one!  Just pause, close your eyes, enjoy the quieter, calmer space, and breathe. 

Certainly, reaching out for support can be helpful, too.  Seeking therapy can help to direct you back to finding your strengths and your purpose to imagine a balance again. 

Students ask for help all the time.  It's okay to ask for help too.  Because teacher-tired is a real thing.  I know because I'm a teacher

Nina Waddington, Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying), is a trauma-informed therapy intern and a special education teacher in the elementary sector.  With one foot in the school system and one in psychotherapy she offers unique support for those feeling burdened by post-Covid teaching school realities. Nina offers affordable therapy at reduced rates.

 

Learn more about Nina HERE.  Connect with Nina for a complimentary brief consultation HERE.

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