We know all about accountability in the world of education. We know we will always be held accountable for what we do and how we do it. We know that often we are held accountable to our local school districts and state and federal education systems for our students’ progress. The word accountability can hold some real weight in regard to teacher evaluations and student IEPs.
As seriously as we take all the above entities and situations in regard to accountability, today I’m proposing that we take accountability to ourselves, just as, (if not more) seriously. Even more important than being held accountable for our students’ successful moments (and not so successful ones) and on our yearly teacher evaluations, I am suggesting that you find a way to hold yourself accountable for the things that are important to you in your classroom and for the quality of your own daily mental health and self care routine. We will probably never be held accountable for those more personal items (and I’m not sure how much we want them to be), but they are precisely the things that will increase our ability to be our best selves, resulting in a better overall classroom environment where all of us (teachers and students) will have the potential to thrive.
But holding ourselves accountable can be difficult. This is precisely why we have accountability systems in place within the education system. So as teachers, we need to set up our own accountability system…with each other, for ourselves. We need accountability partners.
An accountability partner is simply someone we regularly check in with about a certain goal we have for ourselves. The goal can be whatever is pressing for the individual. The relationship could be reciprocal where each person has their own or the same goals. The relationship could be more one-sided where only one person is checking in and the accountability partner is there to just keep the person honest about their progress. And sure an accountability partner could be someone who works with us, a friend, a significant other, but don’t negate the potential for an online friend, online group or app to provide just the extra push you may need.
Here is a list of ways accountability partners can help…
-keep you honest about your behaviors vs. your goals
-helpful to have a person to problem solve with
-everyone likes a cheerleader!
-more motivating to reach a goal with someone else
-create smaller steps to more easily reach a goal
-provide a different perspective
So the blog started about accountability partners to help with routine building in our classrooms, but really an accountability partner can be helpful in any facet of our lives where we need a little help reaching our goals. Instead of thinking you are incapable of changing a habit, changing a routine or reaching a goal, try something different. Enlist the help of someone else, near or far, known or unknown and keep each other accountable.
It’s always great to have in-person accountability partners, but if you want some extra online support, please join in the conversation of all things teacher health, well-being, self-care and stress reduction at We are Teaching Well.
Still looking for more support at home? This guide will walk you through how to create a self-care routine that will be sure to reduce teacher burnout. This guide works as a built-in accountability partner!