This article was written by Jenni Banks. Jenni teaches online classes, as well as subs for Grades K-12. When not teaching, she enjoys tea, cooking and a good bargain sale.
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There‘s no denying, no matter how much we love our students, teaching is a tough, demanding occupation. There are lesson plans to produce; disciplinary issues to attend to; papers to grade; parent-teacher conferences; endless meetings; limited resources; and the fatigue produced from constantly chasing students’ run-on sentences.
We need someone to talk to us on days of total insanity and strain on the brain. Our partners at home are overburdened from our weekly work woes and tales of the “bandit“ that randomly steals food from the teachers’ lounge refrigerator. Our non-teaching friends can’t quite grasp the gravity of it all. Meanwhile… drinking on the job is strictly prohibited.
Which is why today’s teachers need an official support group. Not totally convinced yet? According to MayoClinic:
“Support groups bring together people facing similar issues, whether that's illness, relationship problems or major life changes. Members of support groups often share experiences and advice. It can be helpful just getting to talk with other people who are in the same situation.”
And when it comes to support groups, who can deny “there is strength in numbers”? With this in mind, here are seven compelling reasons educators need an official, industry approved support group…like yesterday!
1. Because with our pay we can’t afford traditional, professional therapy.
And in the words of Dr. Phil, “You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge first.” (Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, anyone)?
2. Because we love almost all gatherings that typically provide free refreshments, like donuts and coffee; which gives us a respite from Ramen Noodles and crappy cafeteria food.
3. Because a little collective “kumbayah” and hand-holding can help keep us warm and get us through another week, month, year of teaching, to fuel us further for the retirement countdown.
Not to mention, we’re already cheerleaders for our students, so we have a lot of practice at providing support.
4. Because the verbal abuse and bullying WE endure from students may lead to “emotional scars.”
Being the butt of their frequent jokes and suggested wardrobe makeovers could eventually stunt OUR developmental growth. A support group could help us get in front of this.
5. Because prayer is not accepted in our schools. (God help us!) Thereby limiting access to a very important resource and source of strength for many of us teachers.
Particularly for non-drinkers.
6. Because today’s support group can prevent tomorrow’s meltdown and ultimate burnout. Think of it as preventive medicine here.
Statistics show that:
“Between 40-50% of new teachers will leave the teaching profession by their fifth year of service.”
The reasons? Long hours, short fuses, rules, regulations, and red tape.
7. Because between the new math and the old computers, we need something to restore our sense of balance, control, and sanity.
In conclusion, consider this a clarion call for teachers everywhere to fight to unite. Today the classroom, tomorrow world domination!
In the words of a popular song: “The more we get together, together, together, the more we get together the happier we’ll be. 'Cause your friends are my friends, and my friends are your friends, the more we get together, the happier we'll be!”