What can you do for your teacher wellness journey?


As many of you know, I’ve been an English teacher for almost 18 years.  During this social distancing experiment, I’ve rediscovered my love for poetry a bit, especially nature poems and poets.  

I’ve also been more regular with journaling.  It’s really been helping me to get a little perspective in this crazy time.

This week, I simply wanted to share a poem with you and give you a little something to journal about if you’re feeling a little adventurous…

If poetry isn’t your thing, just jump to the bottom of the email and feel free to just journal about the topic.  

And by the way, this relationship is reciprocal…if you’ve rediscovered a hobby, talent, or want to send me something to do…please send it my way and I’ll do my best to try it out and maybe I can even pass it on to everyone in our community!


The Journey

One day you finally knew

what you had to do, and began,

though the voices around you

kept shouting

their bad advice–

though the whole house

began to tremble

and you felt the old tug

at your ankles.

“Mend my life!”

each voice cried.

But you didn’t stop.

You knew what you had to do,

though the wind pried

with its stiff fingers

at the very foundations,

though their melancholy

was terrible.

It was already late

enough, and a wild night,

and the road full of fallen

branches and stones.

But little by little,

as you left their voices behind,

the stars began to burn

through the sheets of clouds,

and there was a new voice

which you slowly

recognized as your own,

that kept you company

as you strode deeper and deeper

into the world,

determined to do

the only thing you could do–

determined to save

the only life you could save.

–Mary Oliver

Some things to ponder…

  • Although we may not be able to go on a “real” journey right now, what more introspective journey do you want/need to go on right now?  If you’re really honest with yourself, what is calling out to be explored in your inner landscape? 
  • As teachers we want so much to help our students and our schools (not to mention our families and our communities), how do you feel about the idea of saving yourself first?  What comes up for you when it’s suggested to put the focus inward instead of outward?

I’d love to hear your answers to either of these questions (or anything else this poem or process brings to mind).  And like I said, if you have something that YOU’VE rediscovered during this time, I’d love to hear about it.  

Here’s to continuing this journey of teaching well together and building this resilience in the classroom and beyond.

P.S. There are two more Monday night guided mindfulness practices.  You can register here or check out the weekly recordings uploaded here.

P.S.S. There are still two more weeks in May to add those mindful self-care moments.  Check out May’s Teaching Well Together Calendar.


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