Self-Care for Teachers is my passion-based business as well as my message for the education system. You can find out more about it over at www.selfcareforteachers.com.au or follow along on Facebook or Instagram or listen to the popular Teacher Wellbeing Podcast on iTunes.
Self-care is at the core of the plane safety message: putting on your own oxygen mask before helping others. But it doesn’t just apply when you are flying. In helping professions, self-care is absolutely crucial. I think most know that teaching has an extremely high burnout rate and the current attrition time is about 3 – 5 years. The solution to this problem is complicated and multi-faceted but self-care is at the core and that’s where I hope to make a difference to our profession, to our lives and in turn to the lives of our students.
Teaching is a profession where the job is never done and if it is, it probably wasn’t good enough (whatever that is!). There are so many negative messages about how teachers aren’t doing enough, and even though intellectually we can detach from those messages, emotionally they still sink in. Many of us are high achievers as well as caring a heck of a lot about our students, and we want nothing more than to do a great job and make an actual difference. But this can be a recipe for burnout if we don’t stop and prioritise our own needs. No use helping everyone else with their oxygen masks and then running out of air ourselves! Self-care matters. It matters A LOT. Sometimes we wait until someone else tells us it’s ok to care for ourselves. Well, consider this your permission slip! Go and look after yourself, you deserve it!
The intention of this movement is to support each other in prioritising self-care to be the best version of ourselves as possible, both as human beings and as teachers in a system that doesn’t do this very well. It is to start and maintain a conversation about how intentional, multi-faceted self-care can transform our lives and the lives of those we live and work with.
Self-care matters. It is not selfish, but of paramount importance.
A little bit about me: I am a high school Music, Japanese and English teacher as well as a life coach, writer, speaker, chronic disease thriver and life-long learner. I had some major health events during my university years which meant that during my first few years teaching I was even more prone to burnout than most. And burn out I did. Over the last 10 years I have learnt the hard way that life is not only easier and happier when I look after me, but I am also able to look after others better too. In short, self-care changed my life. I really want to help others feel better too, everywhere but particularly in the teaching profession where I see a great need for more policies and systems which support wellbeing. When I’m not teaching, coaching or caring for myself, I write a semi-regular blog over at www.theharmonyagenda.com and the rest of the time I like to hang out in my trackie-dacks at home with my husband and my cat.