Like many teacher candidates, I have recently been experiencing a lot of stress and work overload which has negatively affected my overall well-being. A recent feeling of being utterly overwhelmed has pushed me to brainstorm solutions, and create a survival strategy to cope with the daunting task of concurrently completing assignments, being placed in my first teaching block, and managing a life outside of school.
My reflection led me towards examining the importance of support systems, whether it be in the form of family, friends, a significant other, or so on. We can’t do it all ourselves, and at times we need the care and support others can provide us.
But maybe for some such supports are non-existent. Or their network is not local. Or our worries are not relatable to those people who have been our support system in the past. It is difficult to explain to a person outside of the education realm the anxieties which accompany being filmed and critiqued teaching your first microlesson.
So today I led an activity for my fellow teacher candidates highlighting the support system we have in one another. We not only talked about what we need in the way of support, but reciprocally what we can offer our peers. From what I’ve learned about this group so far, they want to help each another as much as they may need help themselves. I merely wanted these potential connections to be realized.
I felt this was an opportunity to work together to succeed. We talk endlessly about collaborative learning for our students. Why not us? Why can’t we work together toward the common goal of becoming teachers.
Let’s truly break free of an individualized state of mind and model cooperative learning.
For me, what it comes down to is the students. If we are not mentally healthy and secure, we will be of no use in the classroom. However, as educators if we work together to better ourselves and better each other, we will only be able to better help our students.
That’s something I truly believe, and has been a reflective learning for me this past week. Many thanks to my cohort group for their participation today.