Before I started teaching, I rarely had to ask for help. I worked hard and researched answers when I came across a challenge, but never in my life have I even felt quite like I was drowning and didn’t even begin to know where to turn. I dislike asking for help and would much rather pretend like everything is okay and try to deal with the difficulties on my own, trying not to burden others with the issues I was having in my classroom and my inability to deal with them. However, instead of successfully taking these problems on, I felt very small, like I was on my own island.
There were many things I wish I had done during my first week of school instead of skipping lunch and not taking any personal time for myself. While I don’t regret being so dedicated during that first week, getting through the first week of school is definitely a trial (and a lot different than the Institute experience). However, it is also completely possible to excel through the whole week and set yourself up for a year filled with success!
Good mental health can make the difference between a great week and a horrible week and by following the 4 F’s, you can flourish through the week!
As stressful as Institute can be, there is no point in going through it alone; in fact, I feel that the relationships I made were the light in my day that got me through those difficult moments. By forming relationships with these wonderful people, I was able to go back to Kansas City with awesome roommates and a core group of friends and colleagues who were going through this first year teaching with me!
I couldn’t have made it through my first year without my community.
Here’s how you can start to make yours: