Teachers have increased their expert status as Tech support specialist. Social/Emotional Support. Public health practitioners. With a new pile of roles and responsibilities, and no more hours in a day or week, teachers and nurses find themselves as two occupations under extreme stress.
Today on the New Generation Leader, episode 16, we’re celebrating teachers and sharing tools for reflection and health as we near the midpoint of the school year and the pandemic rages on.
We are releasing Episode 16 in tandem with Episode 17: FOR Nurses to help our nurses and teachers on the front lines know we are FOR them and want the best for them. Listen to Episode 17.
Tools for Teachers
Download the Tools we included in today’s show, and learn more about how to teach or apply them in your school:
Quotes from Teachers
Here is the Tweet we mention at the outset of Episode 16:
@JustaTeacherOfficial is a new Instagram account dedicated to practical ideas to equip teachers and resource our schools.
Episode 16 – Full Transcript
Instructions from school district administration in 2020. Please be prepared to teach online in person, both simultaneously on a moving train while juggling in a burning building under the sea during a wrestling match with a T. Rex as a hologram and riding a unicorn. Also be safe and we value you. Teachers have increased their expert status as tech support, specialist, social emotional support, public health practitioners with a new pile of roles and responsibilities. And yet no more hours in a day or a week. Teachers and nurses have found themselves as two occupations under extreme stress during this pandemic. Today.
On the new Generation Leader, episode 16, we are celebrating teachers and sharing tools for reflection and health as we near the midpoint of the school year and the pandemic rages on. Welcome to the new Generation Leader. We’re giving you the tools you need to lead in the digital world, ready to reach your true potential. Let’s get started. Welcome to the New Generation Leader podcast. Mm hmm. Talk to teachers and nurses the more I’m observing these challenging situations and roles that they find themselves in every single day. There’s so much teachers are confronting that we really can’t fix right now.
But for each individual teacher, we know for each teacher who is leading our kids, teaching them new things about the world, educating them throughout the school year. What can we do? How can we help serve and support them? One of my friends from college, one of my classmates launched a new instagram account called Just a teacher official. And in this account they are looking at thoughts every week on what’s going on in the classroom? What is truly needed for teachers? And one of the conversations that they had is what does a teacher truly need?
Every time we think of teacher appreciation week, we think of trays of bagels and treats and gift cards. But those only go so far. How do we truly meet someone in the stressful environment where we are? How do we meet them right there, where they are in the moment in time Now, this conversation could go in a very political direction and that’s not where we’re going today. In reality, the difference between administrators and teachers is a stark difference. Teachers don’t have the ability to change rules and regulations.
They are on the front lines each and every day building relationships and truly at their heart. The teachers that I’ve been around, the teachers that I know are truly committed to their craft. They want the best for their students. They are investing time, their own resources in making sure our students are prepared for a bright future. So what can we do to make sure those very same teachers are prepared for their own bright future. So instead of gift cards or treats which are nice and don’t stop doing those things.
What are other conversations? Other questions you can ask and this comes to an idea that we bring up many times with our clients is the difference between unconscious and conscious how do we move the feelings, the weight, the burden that so many of us are feeling and teachers especially are feeling, how do we move their awareness of this from the unconscious to the conscious? Well, there are three questions, 3 tools. And at the very start, just ask a question. How are you? And the challenge with this question is one that especially here in the south and in central Virginia, the mid atlantic.
We are truly on a line, but in the deep south traditionally there is a nicety and it’s the same thing in Minnesota. One of my clients mentioned Minnesota. Nice. There’s just this niceness that if you ask somebody, how are you? The expectation is you only want good news because that’s the nice thing to do. So how are you? Fine. But what does Fine. Really, truly mean? And so there is a great tool that we have called the Peace index. And if you go to the show notes at New Generation Leader dot com slash 16 for 16, you can get this and the other tools that we’ll mention today and download a visual that you can ask and walk through these five things.
Ask the teachers, who, you know, how is your sense of peace? How are the people, the relationships around you? What this might illuminate for teachers is that they are so busy and so overburdened by the tasks that they’re not recharging with the relationships that mean the most to them. Family, friends, those in the inner circle. If our relationships are off kilter, we’re not gonna be able to bring our best day in and day out. 2nd is place. How about that physical environment for teachers who taught online for much of the last year, year and a half, that is a very different place. Environment.
The physical location of going somewhere being out and about is different. But the community that we’re in, what is the environment around our school? How much are we able to get out and even enjoy the playground and the other recreational opportunities with our classes, all of those play into place. And if our sense of peace about place is off, then that also influences how we approach each and every day. There is something about the place, the geography, the community where we are, that is something that we are drawn to, whether you are in an urban district, a suburban district, a rural school district, no matter where you are, the place is important to you and you’ve been drawn to the place because of your personal preference, your inclination, maybe your family, how you were born and raised and have experienced life.
So that place is so, so important. Now the third area is closely tied into the job itself and that is provisions. Do you feel like you have what you need to make ends meet to put food on the table and a roof over your head? Do you feel like you have what you need financially to provide for yourself, your family, your needs and your wants? Teachers salaries are always at the front of the budget conversations, they’re always making headlines because for most of us, teachers aren’t making what they truly need to be making should be making based on the role they play in society and so if there is that tension with your role, your occupation, that you don’t feel like you’re making enough, you don’t feel appreciated and valued, then there becomes attention and that can put a wedge in, especially in a stressful situation and time like we are in now that can raise doubt and question again, move it from the unconscious to the conscious, what is it about this feeling is your sense of peace off about this.
I know teachers who are working second jobs, they’re creating art and their free time, they are working for doordash or delivery service or they work another part time retail job on the weekend and the evenings just to make sure the ends can meet. If that is a burden that’s on your teacher’s shoulders, then that is a significant challenge. That’s a significant challenge to them. Being able to bring 110% to their one core mission each and every day when they feel like they have to supplement a core mission with some other income.
That is a challenge. Now, the fourth area is personal health, physical health, mental health, how is your sense of peace related to your health? Do you feel like you are able to be active enough? Do you feel like you’re eating healthily when we are in stressful environments? That is sometimes one of the early leading indicators is we start to let our stress influence what we eat, We eat differently, whether it’s uh preparing comfort foods or eating out more often. We’re not making the healthy decisions and choices that we want to.
And so personal health starts to weigh on us. It weighs on our physical health and our mental health and well being. It weighs on us when the gym is closed or restricted or we can’t play the sport or activity or do the things that we want to do to get outside or we don’t have the time to do those things, We’ll come back to time in just a minute. The last piece point is purpose, your sense of purpose. Is this what you are called to do? Are you doing what makes you come alive?
And if that’s it for you as a teacher, if you are fully committed ready to give every day to this, then that’s a great recognition to reaffirm your sense of purpose, to direct you in your calling and to make sure that you have an opportunity to give voice to what will make this work better, more efficient and that will help you bring more clarity moving from the unconscious to the conscious, when you bring those ideas to the front of mine and somebody asks you, how are things at school right now you will have on the front of your mind, your passion, your sense of calling, why you’re doing what you’re doing and the very solutions that are practical and detailed and could help take your school to the next level.
If your sense of peace is out of alignment, the old hebrew word is shalom. If there isn’t shalom in your life, where you have a sense of peace and well being, then everything will seem off. And so this tool, these five questions of looking at where your piece comes from can help you again move from unconscious to conscious where those factors are that are weighing on you, weighing heavy on you, giving you the weight and the burden that you’re carrying with you each and every day to pinpoint where is this coming from?
But to zoom out and take a look at the big picture. One of our newest tools is the hope meter. And I love this tool because it’s a simple assessment on a scale of 1-100. Are you hopeless defeated, maybe burned out, struggling, stuck or you’re just okay or are you excited? Ecstatic optimistic about what’s coming. Take a look at this graphic in the show notes, New generation leader dot com slash 16 and put this somewhere printed out, handed to people ask them how much hope do you have?
How hopeful are you today about your tomorrow? If you can reinvigorate that sense of passion, that sense of purpose in the lives of the teachers and educators around you. If you are a teacher, your coworkers, those you interact with each and every day, if you’re not a teacher or your kids have a teacher ask those people in your life, how hopeful are you today about tomorrow? Sometimes that movement from again the unconscious to the conscious helps us rise above the challenge and take a look at the big picture.
Now one last tool that will link to and I don’t want to get super in depth on this but it relates to our time we have as we talk about five gears of time, we used the gear shift as a visual to help us understand how we shift from productivity to being present. If you are in task mode working to teach each and every day and you’re working on tasks after school, you have paperwork and things that you need to take care of outside of the school hours and you continue to do that.
What are you shifting into after school? Are you giving time and space for the personal, the relational the social in your inner circle whether your inner circle is your family, your roommate, your close friends or you have a broad network of people that you love interacting with and hanging out with whatever that network is, are you able to shift from productivity to being present? Because it’s in the presence with other people, our inner circle that we are able to recharge our batteries and first gear low and slow whatever that activity is, that helps you recharge personally.
That may be to spend time with a few others playing a sport or it, it may even be some yard work or something around your house that you enjoy genuinely enjoy doing. It doesn’t feel like a task, doesn’t feel like a chore but allows you to be who you are, something you’re passionate about and recharge your batteries. If you have that rhythm to be able to shift from the work to the rest and the presence reconnecting with the people who mean the most to you that will allow you to have fully recharged batteries when you come back in and as stressful as each day is as challenging as the dynamics are that you are facing each and every day with full batteries and a sense of hope, a renewed sense of purpose and an understanding of where your piece comes from and what might be off, you will have a renewed sense of vigor and passion to persist to pursue, to get beyond where we are today and to see the opportunity for tomorrow, the kids that we have in our educational system right now are the hope of the future.
They always have been and sometimes when we are in the midst of a crisis and a season of turmoil and unrest as we are right now, as hard as it seems like it is, this is an opportunity to lean in, this is an opportunity to rediscover peace, to find our hope and to look at what is coming next. Teachers, we are behind you, we are for you. We want the best in your classroom and in your school. So when we ask, let us know, give us the honest truth.
What can we do to support you? Encourage you, equip you and add to your voice as we seek to raise up a new generation of leaders through our schools. Thank you for what you’re doing. Thank you for the time that you are investing. Thank you for pushing through even when it’s hard and if there is something we can do, please let us know when we ask. We’re for you. Yes. Thanks for listening to the new generation Leader podcast. Subscribe today on your favorite podcasting platform. Ready to reach your true potential, join our network of like minded leaders in the New Generation Leader Mastermind Group.
Find all the tools you need at NewGenerationLeader.com. Thanks for listening today and we look forward to seeing you next time on the new generation Leader podcast