I wrote the same message this time last year, but it's worth repeating, if nothing else but as a reminder to keep your physical and mental health needs a priority. School has begun, and let's be real: you're already already stressed and mentally/physically exhausted. And on top of that, nothing helps ease your worries about your students' well-being or your own, and for the most part, you're just trying to make it from one hour to the next. This may not describe you, but if it does, hopefully by now you realize you're not the only one feeling increased levels of anxiety and emotions that run the gamut. I'm not even in the classroom, and I can barely make it through a day without feeling completely overwhelmed in some way.
I write this to remind you that we are all struggling with something, and now more than ever, we need to take a moment to encourage one another, lend an ear for listening or be a (socially distanced) shoulder to cry on. Compassion must be at the forefront of every word we speak and action we take.
Many of you are putting your own health at risk by being in the classroom. Some of you are school leaders forced to make the toughest decisions that are then questioned and criticized. Some of you may also have mental health struggles you're facing. Whatever your situation may be, remember to be gentle with yourself. You cannot expect to perform at 100% capacity right now, so give yourself the same flexibility you would one of your students or a family member or a friend. Of course, that's easier said than done, especially for those Type-A personalities out there! But it's so important, especially since this pandemic continues to drag on and we really don't know how long it will last.
Every day, try to take time to do something you enjoy--something that makes you happy, even if it's just for 5 minutes. Because that 5 minutes of relaxation gets you away from the stresses of the world, which can be so harmful to our minds and our bodies. But if you find yourself reaching that breaking point, please call on any member of the OPSRC team. If it's something school-related, we'll do our best to provide solutions. If it's just to get an opinion on something, you know we've got 'em! We were here before COVID, we'll be here after, but most importantly, we're here right now to be your support. Hop on over to our team's bio page to find all our contact info, and hit us up. This time we are living in is not easy, so in whatever way you need assistance, please let us know. We might not have the answers, but we can always point you in the right direction.
So take care of yourselves and be kind to one another.
Below is a slideshow presented during a recent OPSRC PD session by OKSDE...
You may recognize these words as lyrics within the final song of Broadway's Kinky Boots. I love the possibilities and power these words bring to any conversation.
It’s official: summer is here! Hopefully, you are looking forward to some well-deserved downtime with your family and with colleagues. Not being a warm weather fan, I am already looking forward to the fall with its college football and Indian tacos at the Oklahoma State Fair.
A collection of Oklahoma education-related news of the week.