- Being an educator comes with a big investment of time, energy, responsibility, and resources. That’s why mental health matters for teachers.
- You are worth investing in you because you are you.
- You are challenged to pursue ideas for mental health and to try it.
- The best thing you can offer your students is the healthiest version of ourselves.
We hear it said all the time, “Take care of yourself.” I don’t know about you, but that’s easier said than done for me. To the one reading this post, if I haven’t had the pleasure of connecting with you, Hello! My name is Maddie and I am a junior in college, pursuing a degree in Elementary Education.
While I am not yet fully engulfed in being a full-time educator with my own classroom of 20+ students, my field placements have given me the opportunity to experience what it’s like. 5:00 am alarms, lesson planning, drinking plenty of coffee (but needing more), ensuring that my students have what they need to be successful…you get the point.
Why Mental Health Matters
As teachers, we invest everything we’ve got into our students because we love and care about them. Our job is to secure their academic success, but we understand that the actual work reaches far beyond the job description. We understand that our students need love, compassion, and support. They need an advocate, someone to champion their cause.
The realities in which many students live is hard to wrap our minds around…so we step up. We do our best to fill the gaps in students’ lives because we can’t help but do everything in our power to help them succeed. Being an educator comes with a hefty investment of time, energy, responsibility, and resources. That’s why mental health matters for teachers.
You are worth the investment.
The pursuit and maintenance of good mental health look different for everyone. We know the common things: seeking professional help, getting enough sleep, exercising, eating foods that fuel our body, creating space for the people and things we love (outside of work)…but I’m not writing to tell you what you already know. I’m writing to remind you that you are worth the investment.
If that statement made you feel a little uncomfortable, it’s okay. Me too. But I am willing to bet that since it is slightly uncomfortable to receive, its validity has already been proven. Your worthiness of this internal investment is not contingent upon everything that you do, how well you perform, whether or not you meet your own standards, etc. YOU are worth investing in yourself simply because you are you.
You are uniquely and beautifully you, and no one else is or ever will be, so you’re worth taking care of. We preach this message to our students all the time, but how much do we believe it to be true for ourselves? (Yes…I took it there.)
Educators want the best for our students.
As passionate educators, we want the best for our students. We want to provide them with the best education, the best resources, and the best opportunities. We want to be at our best for them as we guide them in their academic career and, further, invest in who they are as people. I can only begin to imagine how much more exponential our impact could be if we genuinely saw ourselves as worthy of being prioritized and cared for.[scroll down to keep reading]
Mental Health Matters Challenge
I won’t be redundant with my message. The point is, you’re worth it, and your mental health matters. I do, however, want to leave you with a challenge. Brainstorm a few ideas of what pursuing mental health may look like for you, and choose at least one to welcome into your life.
As teachers, we are constantly looking for ways to be better. A thought I want to leave you with: what if the best thing you can offer your students is the healthiest version of YOU?
About Maddie Mayfield
Maddie is an aspiring educator from Spartanburg, South Carolina. She is a junior in college, pursuing a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish. Maddie is passionate about empowering others to fulfill the purposes for which they were created, and believes that the classroom is a great place to start. She believes that by empowering students, they will empower the people in their world, creating a chain reaction of light and hope. In addition to her passion for education, Maddie enjoys reading, being outside, and spending time with her loved ones. If you ever need to find her, she’s most likely at a coffee shop or watching the sunset.