We’re three days into the new decade, and I am floored by the abundance of shares, comments, and raw vulnerability my PLN is sharing across social media. It’s inspiring, actually. I’ve caught myself a few times wandering around the socials and feeling more connected than I have in a long time, and I don’t think that’s an accident.
About a year ago, the National Association of School Boards of Education (NASBE) released information that calls out specific states and the efforts they are making to focus on SEL for teachers and students.
California’s statewide SEL initiative focuses on supporting district-level systemic change and diverse, inclusive leadership teams. State guidelines encourage school leaders to build SEL capacity for adults through “an intentional focus on relationship-centered learning environments.”http://www.nasbe.org/press-releases/addressing-teachers-social-and-emotional-learning-is-key-to-comprehensive-sel-implementation/
And I’m seeing this go beyond words and policies, too. The 2019‑20 Budget: California Spending Plan that came out in October, 2019, reprioritizes SEL instruction as well.
The budget includes $37.1 million (one-time non-Proposition 98 General Fund) for professional development for teachers and paraprofessionals. Of the amount, $10 million and $5 million, respectively, are reserved for activities focused on English learners and students with disabilities. The remaining funding supports professional development on other topics, including social-emotional learning, improving school climate, ethnic studies, and computer science.https://lao.ca.gov/Publications/Report/4096
It’s exciting to sit here at the intersection of policy and social needs and see ideas connect to one another! Not only that, but I am personally ecstatic that we are talking about mental health, physical wellness, and the impact of both of these on teacher retention, job satisfaction, and job performance.
For the past 18 years, I have chosen to share my passions and gifts with students and other educators. As many of us know, the highs are so high, and they truly help us persevere through the harder weeks and months of the school year. The other day, I was reminded of this simple diagram that tracks the arch of first-year teachers’ attitudes across a school year. But I think it also serves as a tool to help all of us keep the emotional journey of teaching top of mind.
You change the title to “Phases of Teachers’ Attitude Toward Teaching (Amidst New Curriculum, New Standards, and Social Pressure on Students),” and accept the diagram as a guide to help you track your people’s emotional health. Then, we have survived the period of disillusionment and are entering a period of rejuvenation. Is that what you’re feeling? Is that the vibe you’re picking up on?
Because I am.
Whether or not this diagram tracks with your emotional state, consider it a helpful tool to keep in mind as we rejoin our students and other teachers to kick off not only a new year, but a new decade.
You are not alone. Even more, you are a part of a growing movement of educators who are committed to health and wellness as a cornerstone to teacher education and classroom culture. Let’s see what this turns into!!