This week, I ran a workshop with some teachers that are doing remarkable things and are often under enormous stress.
When I did an intro activity asking them how they all are (remember its week 3 of term) the responses were mostly about drowning, trying to keep their head above water, putting out fires constantly, feeling tired, lost, worn out, in chaos, being drained and exhausted.
Then I did an exercise with balloons where we demonstrate all the things that they are juggling – the teacher that volunteered tried holding different elements of his day – something really struck me. He had a hand full of balloons about the concern for his students and what they have experienced before they even get to school, for instance have they eaten breakfast, are they safe, will they get here today etc. His arms were completely full and we hadn’t even started the day or talked about the classroom.
We did some explorations about how they juggle their world and how they can self care so that they can face what they face everyday. It warmed my heart when I added an affirmation activity where they spoke to one another about what they appreciate about each other as sometimes in amongst the grind we forget that some good things are happening too.I gradually saw the spark in them come alive as we went through the processes and cant wait to return for a follow up session in a few weeks to see how they are going.
Usually everyone runs out the door after staff meetings but some of them stayed behind to do some more affirmations as they wanted to do more – this is why i love what I do, hlelping others to deal with life and see that they have something to offer the world so that they can do just that.