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An open letter from an educator to an educator

What we are experiencing is hard. Regardless of what your iteration of pandemic teaching has looked like, I know it’s been challenging personally and professionally. I know you’re worried about your students, their progress, and their social-emotional well-being. I know you’re trying somehow to embrace a new normal. 

 

I know you’re tired. I am, too. 

 

I get that we can’t pour from empty cups, but for just a moment, can we pause? 

 

Self-care cannot be something to check off the list. Self-care is not one-size-fits-all. 

 

Self-care is not an initiative. 

 

Cultural shifts that value teacher mental and physical wellness take time to fully impact the system. Incredibly, the conversation is starting. It’s helpful that many see our value in a new light and want us to be well. 

 

But, a slow shift is not enough right now, and we’re third-year pandemic-teacher-tired. 

 

So,...

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LETTING GO OF PERFECTIONISM AS A TEACHER

 
My yoga practice has taught me the importance of letting go every time I step on my mat. When I first began to practice yoga, my focus was on perfecting the poses. After a while though, my practice would not progress. I was burnt out, frustrated, and unkind with myself when I could not master the poses perfectly. I discovered I needed to let go of all my preconceived notions, my perceived limitations, and perfectionism in order to grow in my yoga practice.
 
Yoga has shown me that I am always a work in progress, but once I stopped letting my inner perfectionist guide my path, I was able to let go and grow tremendously. I found perspective, grace and surrender.
 
As teachers, it is easy to fall into this same pattern. You may spend hours after a long day in the classroom trying to create a perfect lesson plan. You may tell yourself you cannot move on to your other projects even though you could have easily stopped hours ago at “good enough”....
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