We Can with Two Rules Wednesday 6

Posted by Brenda Yoho

Two Rules

In my issue, We Can Wednesday with Two Rules 5; I focused on resilience for students. Resilience is an essential part of Two Rules, but not only for students. Teachers in our schools live each day with levels of stress we never imagined they would have decades ago. Teacher shortages, budget cuts, the possibility of school shootings, difficulty in finding a way to balance work-life balance, the effects of the rise of poverty rates, along with the mental health needs and increase in suicide rates of children have all increased the emotional load teachers carry every day.

In addition to the emotional loads teachers are feeling, we continue to pile on additional stress to them with the poor performances of students in academic areas, everyone seems to be pointing fingers at the teacher for the sole responsibility of the “failure” of the children in the educational system. However, it isn’t true. We are grouping together to place blame on one group when it is a systemic issue layered by multiple factors. It is important to help our teachers build up in order to continue to serve our children.

Building resilience is as important for staff as it is for students. For each person, the key to developing this skill is knowing what works for them and making time to do those things. The combination of self-awareness and deliberate practice of resilience-building activities are essential for building this skill. You can compare resilience-building activities to exercising: the more you do them, the more resilience you will have to draw from.

Many teachers were socialized growing up that during times of stress they had to try harder or “power through.” This approach is likely to lead to burnout. A collective response to stress that focuses on cultivating resilience skills will lead to a staff that is more interconnected, more focused on positive thinking, and recognizes the “how” in moving to strengthen approaches to crisis situations. Building resilience provides opportunities to reflect, review, renew and regain the confidence needed to move forward to overcome.

The first step in building resilience among your staff is learning self-care to build your own resilience. Helping each other learn to practice self-care will provide overall improvements.

Building Self-Care

  1. Make meaningful connections. ... 
  2. Make time for your closest relationships. ... 
  3. Talk about what you are going through with others. ... 
  4. Spend time with like-minded people. ... 
  5. Make exercise a priority. ... 
  6. Follow a healthy diet. ... 
  7. Follow good sleep practices. ... 
  8. Reframe a difficult experience.

Posting A Grade

It is the middle of April, and May is approaching quickly. Everyone is considering summer break and the end of another school year! Some are already thinking about the plans for the next school year!

My youngest grandson will begin Kindergarten in the Fall. I have been working with him for part of this year to prepare for Kindergarten. The time has gone fast, and I will cherish the time I had in helping to shape his beginning to school. As we started, he told me his previous teacher had “hurt his heart.” Such a hard thing for a grandmother to hear and as a teacher, principal, and advocate for positive education.

How can a four-year-old express the hurt in his heart? We have had great success from where we started. I reflected on so many teachers and children I have known throughout my life span. How many children have expressed these emotions but no one has heard their feelings? How many children sit in silence when others hurt them and do not feel they have anyone they can trust to tell?

As teachers are busy posting grades for students as the final check of how students have grown, can you also post one more grade?

If you could post a grade on your child’s school in the following areas, what would it be? Maybe you have something else you would like to share a grade on for your school. If you were a staff member, what grade would you give or what would you like to grade? I know there are a lot of surveys, a great deal of talk, and no actions taken. However, I would like to take some steps and make some changes to help with improvements. I love solutions. I know where there is a problem, solutions can be found.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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