I wish I would have listened more

Early in my career I was (and still am to an extent) frustrated by how some of my colleagues (teachers) talked about students. I avoided the teachers’ lounge and vowed to never “be like them”. I denied having similar thoughts despite sometimes feeling frustrated with students.

I still believe that much of the negativity that exists in teachers’ lounges is unhealthy. Yet, I’m learning that “venting” is an important part of mental health. I’m also learning that secondary emotions like frustration and anger are indications of primary emotions such as fear and shame.

I understand those emotions. “Am I a good teacher?” “Do my students like me?” “Are my students learning?” “Will my students be proficient?” “If my students are not proficient, does that make me a bad teacher?”

Teaching is hard and emotionally taxing. I wish I would have made more of an effort to understand the deeper emotions my colleagues and I were experiencing. Perhaps we could have processed together. Perhaps we could have grown together.

Lesson learned being learned.

I’ll listen more.

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