I am not an Instagram instructor and I do not need to be

Dear WeAreTeacher:
I struggle to stay between work and personal life – mentally, physically, and financially. Our school requires that we change our classroom theme every two years, which is not only expensive but also very time consuming. My teammates go way beyond that with decorations, class rewards, and more. While I really enjoy my team as people, I don’t want to spend as much of my own money on my classes, go in early and on weekends, or stay late to do extra things to make my classroom Instagram worthy. I love teaching AND I also love my family. How do I find balance? —Juggling is a struggle


You are not alone in your struggle for balance in life! Please don’t feel guilty about having limits. It takes emotional resilience to cope with a teacher’s demands. Preparing for a new school year is certainly a tough task. Often times we neglect ourselves in order to “do anything”. So ask yourself the question, how do you take care of yourself? What things do you feel charged by? How do you relax? Are your actions related to your core values? Build solid self-care routines into your life. Remember that your limits are an essential factor in building greater wellbeing and a worthwhile teaching life.

I bet there are other teachers on your website who think the same way you do when it comes to spending their own money, time, and energy changing the subjects of the lesson so often. Most people would agree that your district or location should provide a budget if they need something like this. A recent survey found that pre-K-12 teachers spend an average of $ 745 of their OWN money on classroom materials EVERY YEAR.

When setting up your classroom for the coming year, consider allowing your students and families to be more involved in creating the classroom environment. Some teachers find great benefits in starting the year with a bare classroom. If you’re experimenting with this approach, it helps to put a message on the door saying the walls are bare for a reason. Explain that your intention is to work together to create a common space in which the children have a greater sense of responsibility. Teacher Matthew Halpern tells his students, “I’ve been waiting for you. Let’s create our space together. ”So your topic this year could be Welcome to OUR space. Whichever you choose, let your classroom evolve over time and bring your students’ self-expression to life to encourage voice, creativity, and ownership.

Dear WeAreTeacher:
I am pregnant and this is my first baby. It is obvious that I am expecting something and I know that I cannot wait any longer to tell my principal. I’m moving to this new school in the same district and I don’t have strong relationships with the staff yet. Maybe I made a mistake leaving a place where everyone already knew me and supported me. I feel like this is a shaky start to my new position. Any advice on how to do that? —Mama to Be

Dear MTB,

Congratulations on pregnancy and the start of motherhood! In Anne Lamott’s book Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son’s First Year, she writes, “… there really are places in the heart that you don’t even know exist until you love a child.” I hope they fit well on yourself as you embark on one of the most important journeys of your life. Please be aware that you can be an effective, responsive teacher AND a parent.

You have done nothing wrong! Be uncompromisingly proactive and communicative with your new director. The best thing to do is to make an appointment with your school principal as soon as possible so that your team can support you and begin the search for a visiting teacher. You might say or email, “I’m excited to share my special news that I’m expecting a baby this year. When would be a good time to talk about a smooth transition? ”During your meeting, express your intention to do your best for the students and their families. You may want to ask your school principal if the visiting teacher can spend a day with you and the children to help ease the transition process.

If for any reason you need additional support due to your pregnancy, get in touch! Fortunately, pregnant women enjoy federal protection. The US Commission on Equal Opportunities in Employment states: “You are protected from discrimination based on pregnancy and harassment in the workplace. You may also have a legal right to work adjustments that allow you to get your job done without endangering your health. You cannot be fired, turned down for a job or promotion, given fewer tasks, or taken on vacation. ”Also, check out the baby retention options your district may offer. Now just take life one day at a time!

Dear WeAreTeacher:
I gave up classes three years ago, unfortunately because I was bullied by another teacher. This left me with what appears to be PTSD. Now I’m back in a school as a substitute teacher with a wonderful team. I cried most nights when I got home and felt an overwhelming sense of horror. This lady has really influenced my life. I never filed a complaint despite having involved our union and being told I have more than enough evidence to pull it off. But I ran out of energy and a fight inside me so I just left and now regret not standing up for myself when I got my chance. How do I deal with all of my emotional baggage now that I’m back in school? – Find my courage

Dear FMC,

Thank you for your courage to speak up! Sharing your story has the power to positively inspire others while also serving to heal for yourself. Bullying can take a toll on your mood and general well-being. Hopefully you have been able to find professional support to help you come to terms with the trauma you have suffered. There’s no shame in getting help! Unfortunately, workplace bullying in schools is widespread. Schools need to address ANY KIND of bullying, and not just for students.

According to the Mayo Clinic, “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental illness that is caused by witnessing or experiencing a terrible event. Symptoms can include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as having uncontrollable thoughts about the event. Most people who go through traumatic events may have temporary difficulties adjusting and coping, but they usually get better with time and good self-care. If symptoms worsen, last months or even years, and interfere with your everyday functions, you may have PTSD. “

So let’s move on to a few things that you can do to regain control of your school life. Your confidence is the key. Check your feelings and sensations in your body throughout the day. Take note of them and give them a name. Be gentle and kind to yourself when these intense feelings arise. Show yourself the same kind of compassion you would show to a friend. Consider some inner self-talk like, “I’m not alone in this. I am strong. I show up. I’m here. Every step takes me to where I want to be. I am worthy of the good things in my life. ”Learn more about self-compassionate practices.

Students are fortunate to have you and your expertise, empathy and compassion. You deserve to work in a place where you feel valued and supported!

So I was well on my way to getting hired at a private school. The headmaster talked about pay scales and benefits and wanted me to meet the other grade level teacher as we would be doing team teaching. I had an appointment conflict so I postponed the meeting. Then, unfortunately, a student at the school died. The funeral took place in the school / church, so the meeting was postponed again. Later I got an email that the position was filled! I am so upset and frustrated with the whole teacher interview process. I feel like I have been lied to! How do I get past it? —Blind and bitter

Dear BAB,

Frustration, confusion, and disappointment are normal reactions to not getting the position you were hoping for. In Elena Aguilar’s book Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators, she writes about the importance of understanding emotions in building your emotional resilience. If you take the time to pause and notice and name your feelings, this will help you understand your emotions. This level of emotional regulation enables you to see what is in your control. Think back to that context and think about what was in your control and what was out of your control.

We don’t know the exact reason why the headmaster filled the position with someone else. Don’t hesitate to contact the admin to request feedback on the interview or go ahead and work on aligning your core values ​​with a new team. Talking about salary and meeting a team member can be viewed as part of the interview process by many educators. Until you have signed a contract, you can change your mind, as can the leadership. It sounds like bad timing with your scheduling conflict and also sad to find out about the loss of a student. Try not to take this too personally and prepare for your next interview.

As you prepare for upcoming interviews, remember that it takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to persevere. In Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly, she describes vulnerability as “insecurity, risk, and emotional exposure”. Vulnerability and courage are the result of leaving our comfort zone. “Vulnerability is not about winning or losing, but about having the courage to show up, even if you can’t control the result.” Come by and good luck at your next interview!

Do you have a burning question? Send us an email at askweareteachers@weareteachers.com.

Dear WeAreTeacher,
I’ve been teaching for 14 years now – six as a special needs teacher and eight as an intervention teacher. I love my job and I’m good at it. Over the past few years I’ve been thinking more and more about moving from Special Ed to General Ed. So I was very excited when a third grade position became vacant in my building. It’s been a while since I’ve been in an interview, but I’m ready for a change. I applied and although I thought the interview went well, I was not hired. Instead, they hired one of my colleagues from the SpEd program. She has just finished her sophomore year as a teacher and I am angry and feeling abandoned. How do I go to next year knowing I have to work in your room?

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