How is it that some educators are able to address the health and safety of their students; remain supportive; engage and challenge each student; and then head home at the end of the day with enough time and energy to exercise, cook a healthy meal, spend time with family and friends, and get enough sleep? It seems like a miracle for those of us who understand the realities of working in schools and maintaining a personal life. Yet it’s essential—and possible.
When educators give everything they’ve got to students without making sure their own needs are met, eventually there’s very little left to give, leading to burnout. Research shows that when educators burn out, they are emotionally exhausted and often develop indifferent, negative, and distant attitudes. Teachers are leaving the profession rapidly, most often because of poor working conditions. To achieve our goal of educating the whole child, we must create conditions and support practices that help educators ensure each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
» While most still struggle, many educators and schools have developed practices and policies that allow them to strike a better balance. This month on the Whole Child Website, we’ll highlight tools, schools, research, and conversations that will help educators take a whole child approach to education and take care of their own needs.
Start by downloading this month’s Whole Child Podcast to hear from Mike Anderson, author of the forthcoming bookThe Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane Inside the Classroom and Out, about how teachers can care for themselves so that they are happier, healthier, and more effective. Nora Howley, manager of programs for the Health Information Network, the health and safety arm of the National Education Association, talks about the importance of schools’ role in helping teachers maintain their balance and meet their own needs. Kate Quarfordt, art teacher at Bronx Preparatory Charter School, artist, theater maker, writer, and mother, shares her experience balancing life in and out of the classroom.Download the podcast today, and visitwww.wholechildeducation.org throughout August to learn more and contribute to the conversation.
Mike Anderson is an education consultant, award-winning teacher, and author of many books including What We Say and How We Say It Matter, The Well-Balanced Teacher, The First Six Weeks of School, The Research-Ready Classroom, and Learning to Choose, Choosing to Learn. Learn more about Mike and his work or invite him to work with your school or district through his website: www.leadinggreatlearning.com. Connect with Mike on Twitter: @balancedteacher.