I am hearing from teachers and seeing posts of letters and pictures from students telling teachers how much they are loved and missed. I guarantee you, the love is reciprocal. Teachers are worried about their students and their families. They are concerned whether their students will be able to keep up the progress they have made, and if they are anxious because of ever present discussions and fear. Teachers are concerned about how students are doing with a change in routine and how families are going to manage it all. They are especially concerned for their students with trauma and other special needs.
Here’s what I want to say to teachers, THANK YOU! Thank you for all that you do, thank you for caring. Now, please take this time to rest and have some fun! I’ll let you in on a little secret…It’s okay to be happy. Does that sound odd or somehow not right? Being happy and being concerned about your students and their families are not mutually exclusive. It’s okay to put the worry aside, take time to rest, have fun, enjoy your family, linger over a cup of coffee, take more than ten minutes to eat a meal, heck throw caution to the wind and go to the bathroom as often as you like! These are all acts of love to yourself and when school is back in session your students will be all the better for it.
We are socialized to think that when there is suffering, a crisis or tragedy, we feel selfish if we take care of ourselves. There is this either or thinking that says, “This is serious, I have to be worried, I’m not allowed to be happy”. Yes, it is serious, but you are allowed to be happy, in fact it will ease your worry and be a great model for others. If there was ever a time to practice self-love, this is it. From what I see, your students are showing you lots of love, the least you could do is believe you deserve it!