January 19, 2022

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48 Pieces of Advice From Educators on How to Survive This Challenging Time

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Just as many teachers are trying to get students to connect with their peers, it’s important that teachers also connect with their own. “You are not alone,” Jonathan Lancaster of Bergen County Technical High School in Teterboro, N.J., wrote. “There are so many educators who are feeling how you are feeling. Make time to connect with other educators and create opportunities for optimism and compassion.”

Here’s some advice for getting in touch with your community:

38. Educators all over the nation are facing similar obstacles in readjusting to teaching. One of the things that has helped me cope with this school year most has simply been creating opportunities to talk with other educators. Educators can truly understand and empathize with my thoughts and feelings, which makes discussing the issues I have been facing this year cathartic and, knowing that I am not alone, relieving. — Jonathan Lancaster

39. I was recently encouraged by my supervisor and several colleagues to attend an in-person professional development opportunity in a nearby city. Given the challenges of this year and how exhausted I felt, I was reluctant to attend. But I wound up registering at the last minute. In the end, it was an absolute joy to be able to gather with over 100 other professionals and colleagues to share strategies, network, ask questions and get feedback on our ideas, while leaving school behind for a day and a half. — Alexis Wiggins, The John Cooper School, The Woodlands, Texas

40. Advocate for a committee, such as a building review team, to problem-solve issues, instead of letting venting control the environment. — Maura Raleigh

41. With schools being short-staffed and the needs to fill being greater, instead of saying “yes” to everything asked of me, I have recruited a team of teachers within the building who share the burden. By dividing aspects of each of those extra duties among us, the workload becomes more manageable for each of us, and the solidarity engendered has been great for building community. — Cori Abdolhosseinzadeh

42. Being a teacher is hard. It is especially difficult to do our job when we are the focus of many social issues. However, as teachers, we should know that we have to have these conversations, whether they are with our students, their parents or staff members. I recommend joining a teacher group that advocates for one another. It might be on social media, at work or even within yourself by journaling. If we seek support, we will thrive. — Valeria Rodriguez

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