In case you aren’t from here, things are tough in the education system in BC right now. I’m not going to get into it too much because I know, unfortunately, teachers deal with this almost everywhere at one time or another. To sum it up job action, government restrictions, emotions running high on all parts, media reporting partial facts, and awful, negative comments on articles (never read the comments!)
This is Karley and my first time dealing with job action as teachers, we were on practicum during the last one which was difficult but not the same. I am finding this whole experience terrifying, saddening, frustrating, and OVERWHELMING- which has led to many tears shed (keep in mind, this is my response to almost any emotion).
Alongside all of that I am going into my last week in my current contract so this would be hard on my heart anyways. I love these students, as always more than I ever could have imagined. I love the staff and the school. I love teaching full time. Yes we are heading into June, and yes, I can’t say I’ll mind having a more flexible schedule to start off the summer, but it is still so dang hard to say goodbye.
AND… to top it all off… I can’t run right now. If you’ve been reading for a while you will know that running is my sanity saver, my de-stresser, my anti-anxiety medication. I tore my hamstring playing slo-pitch a week and a bit ago and I haven’t been able to run since. Yes, I will still be able to run my marathon (fingers crossed nothing else happens) but my training has be derailed slightly and I’ve had to switch to biking and water running. This week I get to start walk/runs… not exactly where you hope to be at 4 weeks from a marathon but hey that’s life.
My partner and I were talking last night about how much easier this would all be (note: easier, not better) if I could care a little less. I feel like everyday I’m in a system and situations that are pushing me towards caring less – Something I cannot and will not do.
So how am I going to keep on caring without having daily meltdowns?
Laugh. I still hold that this is one of the best parts of my job – laughter helps heal my soul. So when a student hands in an assignment that reads, “40% of 8-18 year olds will spend 54 minutes per day on social media. Ms. Abra can run 10 km in that time!” I laugh out loud, and I share it with my friends and family. Hold onto those moments where kids can make you feel joy and don’t forget them.
Take Care of Yourself. Although I haven’t been able to run, I have been keeping up with my cardio through biking. I’ve done my weekly physio visits and exercises, and I’m going to the gym/yoga. I am also going to make sure I get enough sleep in the next week (something I was bad at last week).
Find Support. We all have people in our lives who can support us through hard times but sometimes we need to remember to ask. And, as much as I really HATE crying in front of people, I have had some great people come and support me when I need it the most. We have to hold each other up when times get tough and we can do that together.
Block It Out. Sometimes we can’t/shouldn’t ignore it all, but sometimes it is necessary. This weekend I have removed myself from social media (except for writing this post obviously), and so far I think it has been the best thing to help my sanity. That and not reading the comments. Don’t read the comments. Ever.
Love. I love my students. I can’t and won’t forget this. They are the most important part of all of this and the strength of that love can get me through anything. I know that by getting through this time and maintaining my love for them I am doing what is needed most in this world.
I am sending strength and love to all of you amazing educators who are dealing with tough times. Don’t forget to keep on caring – it is what we do best, it is what we need most. Lift each other up and do it for your students.