3 Things I’ve Learned from Lockdown
One week into my Term 3 holidays, I’m sitting here today at home, reflecting on what has been the craziest term of our teaching lives here as teachers in Melbourne, Victoria. 6 months after going into our first lockdown, and still in the midst of our second lockdown here in Victoria, it’s safe to say that it’s felt like a long 6 months…
Teachers have probably been some of the most flexible and agile people I have witnessed in the last 6 months of my life. The way that the industry as a whole just transitioned into remote learning (something which is completely new to ALOT of teachers, I might add!), and still managed to serve students as best as it could, was something that was pretty remarkable to watch. Yes, we’ve made mistakes along the way. Yes, it wasn’t that smooth a ride the whole time. Yes, it got bloody challenging at times (especially in lockdown 2.0!). However, I think that we as teachers have so much to celebrate as we sit here enjoying this very well-deserved break.
I have learned so much about myself and the way I work through this time. In a way, it’s almost like a blessing in disguise, where I was given the kick up the bum that I needed to really reassess the way I do things, and the importance of balance in my life, particularly as work invaded the home environment!
Here are the 3 biggest lessons that I’ve learned:
Lesson #1: RESILIENCE is so important, now more than ever.
We teach our students to be resilient through challenging times, it’s about time we actually practised what we preach. It is so crucial that we bounce back from the challenges that we face/are facing. Burnout is already so prevalent in the teaching industry (note: In Australia, there is an estimated 30% – 50% of teachers who leave teaching within the first five years!). Throw something like a pandemic into the mix, and having to completely change the way many of us teach, this statistic could certainly be on the increase! It has never been more crucial that we learn to be resilient through the tough times.
Lesson #2: Setting BOUNDARIES around work and life is key.
I know… If you’re a teacher/educator reading this, it’s likely that you’re rolling your eyes at me right now because boundaries are practically non-existent for so many of us! Put your hand up if you’ve ever brought a stack of marking home to mark over the weekend. Put your other hand up if you’ve stayed at work till 7pm planning for the next day’s lessons. I’ve been there, I’ve done that, and boy oh boy, is that somewhere that I never want to find myself again. Setting boundaries for yourself around work and life is the one thing that’s going to keep you sane, and it will help you separate your identity as a teacher from your identity as a person.
Note: this is a topic I am so passionate about, and certainly is a topic for a whole other blogpost!
Lesson #3: SELF-CARE should be incorporated into your daily routine.
Whatever self-care looks to you, whether it’s a HIIT workout, a walk around the block, a yoga session, a guided meditation, reading a book, taking a bath, journalling… The list does not end! We are human beings after all, and outside of our teaching roles, we need to learn how to switch off and spend time on ourselves.
If you need some self-care ideas, please download my FREE ‘The Flourishing Teacher’s Self-Care Guide‘ which has an extensive list of self-care ideas for you! Certainly no better time to start self-care routines than during the holidays. Perfect timing!
Just a reminder that flourishing teachers build up flourishing communities – there is absolutely no doubt about that.
Sending all the love to you, lovely one. Enjoy this well-earned break, and take some time out for you!