This past week was rough. It was the end of the first quarter at school with the grades that accompany that milestone. Two students came to my room with tears on their cheeks and some very serious personal concerns that I felt helpless to address. Other students were over-the-top inappropriate to others. The end of my first class in the M.Ed program also brought with it a 24-page paper that exceeded the requested page count by… oh, about 12 pages. And that is just the stuff outside of actually teaching. I ended the week in a state of exhaustion.
I know that I am not alone, though. One wonderful coworker posted a supportive note on my social media. An administrator dropped by my classroom just to touch bases and to make sure things were going okay with the students who have been struggling emotionally so that he could also support them — and me. Our campus supervisor gave some hugs to the kiddos who needed them and an encouraging smile to me. My husband treated me to a tasty meal on Friday night. My mom came to watch my own kiddos for a day while I wrapped up schoolwork. My sweet boys gave me some morning snuggles, which helped me to feel connected to my own family after a very long week. Recently, a former student and her mom brought me flowers and coffee… just because.
All of this underscored to me the need of those in education to be surrounded by a supportive village of like-minded individuals who are working to help each other make a difference in the lives of the kids who pass through our rooms and our lives. We cannot be all things to all people, but we can support others to be the best they can be when we are not that person. These wonderful individuals all help me to greet each day with a smile and a heart ready to meet my students where they are. I am so incredibly grateful for all those who help me when I am feeling defeated.
This is something I personally want to grow in — I want to cultivate the mindfulness to more consciously encourage others when they, too, are feeling exhausted. Any suggestions out there on ways to show appreciation and encouragement for those who always support you?