Teachers, take care of yourselves.
All around us, life happens. Family issues, relationship issues, health issues, societal issues, accidents and tragedies, etc. Some of it inevitably affects us. It affects our kids, too.
The problem is that we, as teachers, are really good at paying attention to and taking care of others. That's part of what drew us to this profession! But we are not always as good at taking care of ourselves.
Some of the best advice I have been given came from a principal, days after a major event happened at my school that affected students and teachers alike. She said, "Don't be surprised if it comes back around and you really struggle with this in a couple of months. Right now, your focus is on helping the students deal with it, and you are not spending as much time on yourself...that's how teachers are wired. At some point, after the intensity has passed with students, you might find yourself coming back around and really dealing with it yourself." She was so right. And her words helped me not feel crazy when, two months later, all of the emotions came back strongly, with no apparent trigger.
So, while I would never tell teachers not to focus on students (not like we could, anyway), I just want to remind us to take care of ourselves, too. As a friend asked me in the middle of my tough week, "What are you doing for YOU today?" Take a moment. Treat yourself. Go for a walk. Take a nap. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Give yourself grace. And realize that YOU are worth taking care of, too.