To my fellow teachers: It’s OK that you’re not okay
Dear fellow teachers,
Teaching from home is not as easy as it may look. Away from the classroom, many of us are struggling with remote teaching. You miss your students, and you miss school. Swapping the hustle-and-bustle of school for a more quiet home environment can be a struggle. It can be lonely. I get it.
Don’t feel bad about not feeling okay with remote teaching. Adjusting to this new normal is hard work. What’s more, you’re not only trying to look after yourself (and your family) during this time of change, but you’re also supporting your pupils through this pandemic, too. You’re carrying a lot on your shoulders. You’re taking on the responsibility of being there for so many people, let alone yourself.
I just want to say – it’s okay that you’re not okay right now. You’re probably feeling exhausted and vulnerable. There might be pressure (from work, from family…) to hide how you’re feeling or just ‘get on with things’, but I want you to know that you’re not alone. There are so many teachers out there in a similar position to you. There are so many teachers out there who are trying to help their pupils and support their family simultaneously. You probably feel spread thin.
Sometimes, when we’re spread thin, taking a step back to take care of ourselves is crucial. And no, you’re not being selfish by doing that! Without you feeling okay in yourself, how are you supposed to support your pupils? You need to take time to make sure that you’re doing the right things to make yourself happy right now. If that means going for a run at lunchtime, or putting in the time to meditate twice a day, then good for you! If it means taking some time away from your family to read a book in a snug corner of the house, then go for it. Whatever does it for you, make sure you do it.
Whatever taking care of yourself looks like for you shouldn’t matter, as long as it helps you. You aren’t an endless resource, and in a time where we’re all experiencing the emotional turmoil of Covid-19 to some degree, don’t expect yourself to be able to just keep giving your energy out when you haven’t enough for yourself.
It’s OK that you’re not okay. I get it. And I think it’s important to admit it too – we aren’t superhuman, but we are dedicated, kind, loving and giving. Sometimes, we need a bit of that energy back to re-charge ourselves, so that we can do right by ourselves, or families and our students.