Why Teachers Need Mental Health Support Too
There have been numerous articles and new stories about the importance of students’ mental health. But what about teachers? We are expected to be an educational rockstar, pillar of stability and voice of reason for all the students who walk into our classroom. Some of them are experiencing real trauma… and we should absolutely be there for them.
How can we do that if we are overwhelmed, exhausted and emotionally drained from living with our own mental illness? How can we help our students when we are spending all of our energy trying to help ourselves?
I’m not writing this story because I have the answers. I just want every teacher to know that it is OK to not be OK. It is OK to take time for yourself, whether that be in the form of a physical break from teaching, practicing a self-care routine or seeking professional assistance.
Trust me… it’s easier said than done. I’m a first-year teacher who feels the entire world is on my shoulders. It feels like one mistake will ruin my career and future forever.
Except it won’t… and I am learning I cannot pour from an empty cup. Burnout is a real problem, and will only occur more quickly if we refuse to take care of ourselves.
Your students deserve your best, but more importantly, you deserve your best.
Getty image by kupritz