Then I read the article. It doesn't recommend systemic changes that are necessary to ensure teacher well being in the United States. It just suggests that teachers change themselves by learning to be more mindful. What a load of crock! So I alternatively title it "Teachers Are Stressed; The Should Fix Themselves"
I'm not opposed to mindfulness. I think it is a great tool for both students and staff at schools across the country. I'm angered that it appears as though this massive educational problem can simply be solved by the teachers themselves. Simply buy the book, read it, and implement. Life will be better after that!
Would you like to know what would decrease my stress? Here are some suggestions:
- More days off/Year round school - I know not everyone likes this idea, but I think spreading the stress of the school year out throughout the entire year would be helpful. Also I could take my kids to appointments without having to take time off, and then feeling guilty for taking time off. We need regular breaks during the year; more than just weekends.
- More prep time/collaboration time - I need time to grade papers, talk with other teachers about strategies, and develop lessons for my classes. Those things are not automatically done, they take time. And 49 minutes a day is not enough.
You know, that might really be all it takes. Teachers need time. We do a lot. Give us time. Give us a break. Let us breath without 20 kids staring at us to see if we're watching while they try to get away with something.
Next time you write about teachers being stressed, acknowledge that we are not in a position to fix the system that needs changed. That is bigger than us and so something other than us is going to have to fix our stress.