Data to enter, holiday crafts to complete, first trimester report cards, personal stress, and the list goes on and on for many of us. In addition to all the holiday stress, teachers also put their students needs before their needs. It is easy for us to get caught up in the normal holiday stress, and rightfully so. Teachers are humans too. Now put yourself into a 6 year old child’s shoes. The stress can be unimaginable! In January, I wrote a blog titled Change your Lens Often. In that article I discussed putting aside your biases, assumptions and personal feelings to see things from a 6 year old point of view. In the article I encouraged teachers to look at a child’s behavior with a different point of view. This is a good time of year for teachers to check their lenses and be mindful by putting aside their biases, assumptions and personal feelings and approach a problematic student behavior while be mindful of their own mental health.
According to Pew Research 92% of Americans celebrate Christmas and 46% said it makes them feel stretched thin financially. Check your Lenses! Now, imagine that you are a 6 year old that is growing up in poverty. In January 2017 HealthDay News wrote an article about Poverty’s Impact on a Child’s Mental Health. According to Healthday News article and Gary Evans, a professor of environmental and developmental psychology, “With poverty, you’re exposed to lots of stress. Everybody has stress, but low-income families, low-income children, have a lot more of it,” Evans said. “And the parents are also under a lot of stress. So, for kids, there is a cumulative risk exposure.” Mindful.org blog posted by Shamah Alidina which has been adapted from a book titled Mindfulness for Dummies which lists 10 practices to be mindful. One strategy is to feel gratitude. According the the blog post “Humans have a negative bias” which essentially means that we look at everything that has or is going wrong opposed to looking at everything that has gone well. As I stated before, teachers are human to and we can sometimes forget to look at the glass half full rather than half empty. This is a good reminder that teachers should check their lenses often and be mindful of the present…
AND DON’T FORGET…Be mindful of your own mental health during this time of year!
I believe that the foundation of all learning begins in the home and all students are "OUR" students.Not yours, not mine but OURS.