Over the holidays I did a lot of reflecting on what my goal was for this blog. Initially, I planned on sharing resources and lesson ideas, but I’m not really sure that’s where my expertise lies. I also found that editing resources to share them with the public started to make me very stressed out so I started avoiding creating new resources altogether. This made me reflect on other things that cause me stress relating to teaching and I had a bit of an AHA moment! If there is something I know, it’s teacher stress.
I suffer from anxiety and depression and 2016 ended up being one of the worst bouts of depression and crippling anxiety I have experienced to date. I was ready to quit teaching and become a hermit for the rest of eternity. I couldn’t see past my state of despair. I felt unqualified to teach, I was terrified that I would get fired every time something went wrong in my classroom. And to be honest, I felt like I deserved to get fired. I was barely getting to work on time, my marking pile kept getting bigger and I wasn’t nearly as prepared for my lessons as I needed to be. I was a mess and it wasn’t getting better.
It was during this time, that I really started evaluating my mental health toolkit. The tools I had weren’t working and I needed some new ones, STAT! I scoured the corners of the internet, read books and spoke to professionals until I managed to find tools that actually made a difference in the day to day. Slowly but surely I felt the fog start to lift and things started to seem less daunting.
Finding tools for myself and really starting to discuss my mental health with others was very cathartic. So I’ve decided that this is going to be the new focus of my blog. I’m going to share all of the tools I have picked up over the years so you can start building up your toolkit as well. Not all of the tools I share will work for you, but hopefully, you’ll be able to find something to help reduce the incredible stress that comes with teaching. I’ve also started discussing these topics with my students and have tons of resources to share with you!
Stay tuned for a series on How to build your mental health toolkit!