Several times a year, we place a half-day in our schedule, setting aside intentional time for our faculty to meet together, learn together, and grow together as a professional group. Although most of our teachers routinely attend workshops and conferences during the year that address their area of expertise, having time together as a faculty and staff is important.
This year we are including, as a part of our professional development, a focus on health and wellness. With that in mind, this Wednesday our topic is Mindfulness, and our facilitator is well versed in guiding teachers in better self-care through mindful practices. As we begin our school year together, this is a terrific place to launch our focus on better self-care.
So why is this important? Self-care is important because when teachers take care of themselves, the students benefit. Teaching is one of the most challenging and stressful occupations, but also one that is often the most rewarding. Our teachers change lives. They play an amazing role in guiding each student to set goals and work toward the achievement of those goals. They serve as cheerleaders, sages, guides, people of wisdom, and models of a positive mindset. Our teachers give 110% every day, all day, to the students they shepherd through the school year. Teachers play key roles in shaping young lives and leave fingerprints on the hearts of them forever. In doing so, however, a teacher’s job is never done. Work continues long into the night after the final bell has rung. And when the alarm goes off in the morning, they begin again with the same dedication.
Therefore, it is important that we encourage our teachers and administrators to take care of themselves. When we feel good, our students benefit. When we are healthy in mind, body, and spirit, we model that for our students. Health and wellness pay benefits well beyond the individual. It behooves us to encourage positive self-care because, as we say at St. Michael’s, “at the end of the day, it’s all about the kids,” and those kids are worth every bit of our effort.
Head of School