Healthy teachers create healthy classrooms and schools where students can not only grow, but blossom.
Teaching, as an occupation, has exceptional demands on individuals that requires active maintenance of wellness in all dimensions: intellectual, spiritual, physical, emotional, social and occupational (The Wellness Institute ). We, at Daedalus, believe that, in order for educators to continuously inspire and support learners, particularly those learners in the highest need, they must actively work to stay well.
The Daedalus Collective seeks to unite the mind, spirit, and body for a holistic approach to teacher professional growth that emphasizes professional fulfillment, emotional wellness, and mindfulness.
Often, individuals see the field of education not just as a job, but as a calling. It is inarguable that teachers have impacts on lives, and with that impact comes a heightened sense of moral responsibility. This can lead to both a great sense of satisfaction and pride, or conversely, a great sense of disappointment and guilt. Furthermore, operating within political and bureaucratic structures, educators may be put in situations where they struggle to actualize their vision of teaching. Professional fulfillment comes for educators are able to stay true to their values, when they can express their professional creativity, grow in expertise, and feel valued.
Teaching is a stressful job. Managing and maintaining the many dimensions of relationships between students, parents, and colleagues in a healthy manner requires emotional stability and control. How can we gauge and be aware of the strength of our emotional wellness? The ability to be vulnerable and look inward to assess one’s emotions and feelings, along with their causes, is to be insightful about one’s own condition. Taking a candid, and deep enough look to recognize the reality and limitations of your emotional condition can be a daunting task. When we come together and build supportive relationships with one another in a supportive and safe community, we can engage in the productive, honest struggle of understanding the emotional wellness that is needed to navigate the daily stresses of teaching.
Mindfulness is at the core of all the dimensions of wellness. In order to make choices that lead us to a more balanced and harmonious life and career, we need to make the time to reflect and center ourselves. Mindfulness practices are at the center of all that Daedalus does as we encourage our colleagues and participants to become cognizant and connected in order to be the best educators we can hope to become for our students and schools.