A very dear colleague of mine sent me an article to read today about Managing October Exhaustion from Teacher Magazine. This sounds like a very different topic from what I've just written about, but the reason I thought about the Reclaim the Night marches today was because the final section of the article deals with reclaiming fair working conditions for teachers. The teacher who wrote this article is asking for a fair 8-hour day and to be treated with respect and dignity. She talks about burn-out and how this is causing teachers to leave the profession. When I reflected on how many of my teacher friends from the 1980s are still teaching, it occurred to me that more have left the profession than have remained in it.
Most of the teachers I have known and worked with over nearly 30 years of teaching have been dedicated and committed professionals who want to make a difference in the lives of their students and to encourage each student to reach his or her potential. Unfortunately many things come in the way of them achieving this goal. The article in Teacher Magazine calls for a "Pause Period" to regroup and regenerate. This period can be made up of the following:
- taking some time off
- refreshing your surroundings
- reflecting on why you became a teacher
- celebrating your successes
- optimising your time - cutting out what is unnecessary
- getting more help - from students or parents
- saying no - prioritizing so that you only do what is really important
- keeping healthy - getting enough sleep, exercising, eating well and spending time with people who are important to you.
With one more week to go before our October break I am definitely in need of pressing the pause button and reclaiming my life!
Photo by Jobot da Robot