Fellow teachers, welcome to the new year, a new decade! What will make this year a little different to last year for you? What little change could you make to your day/week that might enhance your well-being? Perhaps you could do some gentle stretches in the morning before breakfast? Start meditating for five minutes each morning before the house gets up? A body scan perhaps? Or a mindful meal in the day? Not volunteer yourself in school for another job/role? Bed before 10pm? One small change in our daily routine can empower you and help you feel better. You deserve your own time, you deserve your best you…… Good luck!
Have you been crawling to the finish line? Couldn’t wait until May 31st? Putting things off until the holidays? ‘Ill do that over the summer’ you kept saying to yourself? Living for the future?
Well here you are now, how does it feel? May 31st, the summer holidays, is here, how are you feeling and where are you feeling it? Have you started to think about all the things you will try to pack into the next 10 weeks? Planning, arranging, organising, waiting…… It never stops. We are always waiting for ‘the next thing’, the promise of something better, the happiness of the future. But somewhere deep down we know that all we have to make us happy, peaceful, at ease is already within us, it is with us all the time, it is here with us now, in the present moment. We have everything we need to make us whole within us. We spend so much of our lives waiting for the future, in the promise that we will be full, whole, complete when such a thing happens. But in fact the present moment is all we have, ourselves in this moment is all we need. ‘As soon as you honor the present moment, all unhappiness and struggle dissolve, and life begins to flow with joy and ease…..The moment your attention turns to the Now, you feel a presence, a stillness, a peace. You no longer depend on the future for fulfilment and satisfaction’ (Eckhart Tolle). So maybe try to embrace the present during your time away from the classroom. Try not to pack each minute with stuff to do. Practice not doing. Practice listening to yourself and practice asking yourself ‘how am I feeling right now?’ and listen to your answers. I promise you a very exciting summer if you do!
Do you ever silence your own beliefs for fear of judgement? Do you know what your beliefs are? Do you impose your beliefs on to your students? As a teacher, I feel it is very important that I take time to get to know myself and my values, so that I can empower and encourage my students to do the same for themselves. I cannot give to another what I have not got for myself…..
I like this poem by Marion Woodman:
‘Who am I?
What are my values?
What are my needs?
Am I true to myself?
Do I betray myself?
What are my feelings?
Am I capable of love?
Am I true to my love?’
‘When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.‘ I like this quote by Lao-Tzu. I’m enjoying the book called ‘Tao Te Ching- the book of the way’. It brings me back to simplicity and is quite a spiritual read. This particular quote I can associate with my teacher as well as other areas of life – with my friends, my colleagues or family for example. I have compared my teaching to that of my friends and colleagues. I have felt as though I’m not as good a teacher as them too. There is a security in comparison; perhaps I feel I’m doing something aspect of the job better than they are whereby I feel great about myself. Or I may feel like they are doing a better job than me and so I feel I should improve in that area of teaching. Either way, when I compare myself to others, I’m living from the outside in, rather from the inside out and I there is no peace to be gained from living from the outside in. Peace and harmony come from within. ‘It is the centre hole that makes the wagon move.’ (Another quote from The Master’).
Eckhart Tolle in his book ‘The Power of Now’ believes we should ‘surrender to what is. Say ‘yes’ to life and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.’ This quote resonated with me as I don’t often surrender to what is. I give out about stuff-the kids, my job, family, the weather- and wonder how things might different if it were not so. I think its a learnt and well practised behaviour by me. So I’m going to try to embrace this surrender and start to say ‘yes’ rather than ‘its a pity’.
This week I am going to try to embrace these quotes in my life. Do you want to give it a try? Lets see what happens……
I’ve set up this site to share my journey on this path of teaching. I hope to bring a little of my recent learnings from a psychology course that I’ve done , into my daily life as a teacher but also to myself. All teaching starts with self. Whatever comes up on a day to day basis with the students creates a response in me and that is what I try to focus on, ‘how did I feel when that happened?’ That response, that feeling, is where I learn all about me and who I really am. It’s not easy, some days are upsetting, but it’s great to notice my feelings and my responses and to know that they are mine. I try then not to project those feelings onto the students and blame them or give out to them. My feelings belong to me, not the students.
Please share your experiences or let me know if you’ve learnt anything about yourself through me sharing mine. Go gently with yourself….