“Lovely to see you today!”
“How are you doing?”
It’s all about context. Positive thinking… Growth mindsets.
Are we our honest selves when in the classroom? We exhibit expected professionalism and hold it together when we might have had a far from perfect time before the school day even begins. We launch our own children into school. We calm the anxiety of Tim, or Lucy, who could be worried about PE, may not be understanding some homework or something has happened at home. Why do we do this when sometimes we feel far from smiling?
Well, if honest, we do it for the young people we teach. If we are happy and positive, they are more likely to be so too. Calm and content learners learn. It’s well-documented that stress causes our brains to shut down and thinking becomes clouded.
However, is it possible that our honest desire to remain selfless and true to our moral purpose, can stubbornly persist to the detriment of our own wellbeing?
I think the honest answer to this question is often: “Yes!”
Who do we turn to when the façade begins to crack? How do we react when we admit to ourselves that what we feel is right and moral is making us ill? How can we fit it all in and be able to sleep? How do we know when to stop writing the list?
For me, it was when I was beginning to stare vacantly at the computer screen and find myself unable to concentrate on the work I was doing. It was when the list had grown exponentially and unwieldy. Perspective grew distorted and a navigable pathway through the storm was shrouded in mist and cloud.
I couldn’t smile.
I found myself crying.
I wanted to smile. I loved my job.
I couldn’t do it anymore. Not enough hours.
Honestly. Without that purpose. I was lost. Stretched. Mom. Daughter. Teacher. Taxi driver. Runner… Trying to do the right thing.
“Miss, are you okay?”
I smile. They smile. We smile.