With just a few days left of 2015 I thought now would be a good time to reflect upon my personal well being journey, a journey that started thanks to Martyn Reah and #teacher5aday.
My journey started on the 30th December 2014. It began with a blog post. It developed into 5 promises. It continued throughout the year.
Let’s rewind to 30th December 2014
After seeing inspiration on Twitter, whilst being rather anxious about going back to work in the New Year and just downright unhappy about the hours I was working I promised myself the following for 2015:
#connect – say yes more; see friends and family, socialise frequently, connect with other educators. Be less lonely.
#exercise – more adventures outdoors with my Mr Humanities
#notice – notice those I love; stop noticing imperfections in my work
#learn – learn from others
#volunteer – go back to my conservation/environmental roots
How did it go?
Whilst work has remained stressful and work related anxiety has continued, 2015 has enabled my overall sense of happiness to improve and this has been evident in the classroom.
January and February was great, I really got on board with limiting how much time I spent working on weekends to ensure I had every other weekend off (except for the Sunday morning lesson planning). See how it went with the End of January Review.
However March and April didn’t run so smoothly, stress related stomach problems resulted in a hospital trip and a few days off sick. I was on the verge of leaving teaching by this point. But with some focus on myself, a re-focus on my #teacher5aday promises and an invigorating trip to #TMLondon helped me to get back on track and remember what I love about the job.
By the time summer came, my reflections showed a relatively positive journey. On return to school in September I tried to keep this in mind.
If I’m honest the period between October half term to February half term I find the hardest and the run-up to this year’s seasonal celebrations were no different. The one thing that changed however was the fact that I allowed myself to say no. When I was too tired to work in the evening, I stopped, I refused to do it and instead allowed myself to rest. None of us should have to work 6 days a week, 5 of which are 7:30am – 9pm; It’s too long and unsustainable as I’ve learnt. It has meant however that I’ve had to prioritise, planning first, deadlines second, marking if I have time.
Taking part in #teacher5aday this year has given me the confidence to say no, to see it’s okay to look after myself and a chance to connect with other educators across the country – removing the sense of loneliness.
I recently started the discussion on staff and student wellbeing in my school’s first Teaching and Learning newsletter.The same evening a fellow colleague sent me a lovely email in regard to staff wellbeing, it was really nice to be able to open up the pathway for such discussion.
I’m really pleased to have taken part and want others to get involved with wellbeing , it’s made such an impact to 2015. Although I didn’t stick to each promise everyday, just having a wellbeing focus helped me to look after me.
I’m excited for 2016 now, it’s goint to be the year I get out of my comfort zone. Eck!
Hope you have a great new year.