It has undoubtedly been a challenging year for all of us. Teachers worldwide have been pushed into a situation that they could not imagine when studying to be teachers. Nothing prepared us for this, and we have done the best that we can to cope with the situation and, in the midst of it, still provide quality education to our students.
Lockdowns, hybrid teaching, remote teaching, going back to school with safety measures sometimes felt that teaching became the side order and not the main course. It has been exhausting; it has been difficult, it has been at some points almost impossible.
On top of that, we have been worried about our health, the health of our loved ones, struggled with loneliness, not seeing our families and relatives, and not knowing if there is enough money for all the necessary things because of so many lost jobs or businesses.
Some of us have lost family members, friends, partners, and the copying process has been challenging because we have not been able to do it together with our loved ones. It has been heartbreaking; it has been difficult; it has been at some points almost impossible.
Now we are slowly looking towards the future, and we have to start to think about how to move forward from here. We are not the same people we were a year ago. Our students and their families are not the same people they were a year ago. We do not know all the private struggles our colleagues, our staff, our students and their families have gone through this past year.
The new normal cannot start from where we left off. We have to take care of ourselves, our loved ones, our students, our communities.
In this digital world, we know what to do when our computers, phones and other devices are low on battery – we charge them. It would be great if we could recharge our well-being batteries in the same way. It is not that simple, but the way to the new normal is to restore our resiliency batteries by ensuring that we are physically and mentally ready to help our students and the community.
At Mightifier, we believe that social and emotional learning helps students learn better and feel better. We also believe that learning about your own emotions, character strengths and self-care, will also make you feel better. Learning about these things is recharging your resiliency resources; those are the resources that help you navigate challenging times in the future. As you start to feel better, you have more resources to help your students to feel better.
At Mightifier, we see the toll this year has taken on teachers and, therefore, will focus more on teachers’ wellbeing. One concrete example is that we will give helpful tips on short exercises you can do yourself and take to your classroom and do with your students.
Try to make sure that you are also taking care of your wellbeing and putting enough self-care into your daily routines, both at home and during the workday. It can be baby steps, one minute here another there; the most important thing is that you do it regularly.
As they say on aeroplane safety instructions: put your oxygen mask on before helping others.