In ‘Teacher Teacher – Part 1’ I posed the question, what nourishes you and makes you feel clear and confident?
I then asked could you keep making these things a part of your life when you need them most?
That is when you are feeling anxious, stressed, overworked and, as a result, vulnerable.
Can teachers, and other people in any highly stressful situation or workplace, keep fuelling themselves well so that they feel strong?
Round one really did focus on the individual.
However, here’s the catch.
When I wrote Part 1 it was never going to be just about an individual.
Sure we are important as individuals. But to me, how we meet others and how we contribute to them cannot be disconnected from who we are.
Your life is also about the people you work with, the community you work in and, in the case of teachers, the students you are actually there to serve.
When you’re feeling clear and in control, you communicate with clarity and power, or as I say in the philosophy of conditional expression – with softness and strength.
In a high-pressure job that moves at a frenetic pace it easy to get personal when things aren’t going to suit.
In teaching this can mean getting personal towards colleagues and personal towards students.
And a personal attack is a personal attack. And them’s fighting words.
There are at least two sides to any confrontation and you cannot control how the other person is going to manage it but you can control your contribution.
And how you are feeling is very likely to influence your levels of control.
Think about the naughty child in your class, who is having a day to remember. Troubled, and perhaps lacking in something in their own life, they are acting out.
How will you meet them?
At their level, at a personal level or at a level of clarity and strength where you are guided by the fact you are a professional adult and they are a young person finding their way in a world made far more complex than it needs to be.
To be clear, I am not for one minute suggesting you should be perfect and in control every minute of everyday, even under the most trying of circumstances.
You too, are only human, and you too are finding your way in a world made far more complex than it needs to be.
You will have your meltdowns and maybe even make cutting comments towards the students and others. Maybe you won’t handle every high-pressure situation with softness and strength.
It means you’re human.
Thank God also for these situations because they give you the chance to learn love, forgiveness, acceptance and compassion towards yourself – and others.
Yes, even the annoying little brat blowing gaping holes into what was once your world of Zen – a joke, of course.
And these traits will serve you well in every relationship you have, on every level, for the rest of your life.
But if you are feeling loved and nourished and full of the things that are uplifting to you, you will be far better placed to manage ‘the heat’ with integrity and dignity.
It’s not about being perfect – it can’t be, we are human after all – but it can be about increasing your strike rate at dealing with tough situations powerfully.
And this lies at the heart of increased maturity and responsibility that serves not only you personally, but others around you and the earth, even when the heat is on!
Good luck with the nourishment you receive this school term and beyond.
Thank you to the increasing number of schools, businesses, sporting teams and individuals who invite me to play a role in this nourishment – a role I had rejected and denied for so long.
Part 3 will be coming along shortly.