Life as a teacher changed for me when I realized that I did not have to experience teaching the way I had been told to.
My mentorship program and my passion for helping teachers were both born from my own struggles during my years as a teacher. I allowed the profession to control my time, energy, moods, and emotions which resulted in burnout as only a third year teacher. I spent so much of my time and energy focusing on work, thinking about my students, and striving to go above and beyond. I wanted to do a good job and as far as my teacher evaluation went, I was doing just that and more.
But living up to the teacher evaluation standards came with a price.
I learned fast how dangerously easy it is to get swept up in the demands of the job and forego my own needs, wants, dreams, and goals. I also learned how normal we think it is for teachers to work more than we live and run on fumes.
"It's part of the job", right? "Teaching is a lifestyle", right? Wrong and wrong.
I functioned from the limiting belief that in order to make an impact I needed to be selfless and perfect. A standard I had set for myself was that teaching was a lifestyle, not a job. I had so much more power than I was using.
That same year I was also experiencing low self-esteem and was in a toxic relationship in my personal life. My bad boundaries and confused sense of self-worth were infecting all areas of my life, not just teaching. I don't blame my teaching job, or anything outside of me, but being in a career where you're praised for putting yourself last, without the self-empowerment tools and inner resources I would soon acquire, wasn't helping me.
I was in a bad place...but from the outside you'd never know. I lived in a beautiful area, a destination many people spend time vacationing, was physically healthy, and had a pretty full social life. Inside, I was struggling. Struggling with my identity, my mental health on the decline, realizing I no longer had meaningful hobbies, and that social life I just mentioned consisted mainly of weekend trips to the trendiest bars in town. Fun, but hardly fulfilling. It was a great way to numb out the teaching stress from the week and avoid the fact that I needed to make a change.
I'd spent far too long not prioritizing myself, and therefore, I lost myself. I realized that this was not the lifestyle I wanted to continue.
I wanted more.
I had two choices: stay where I was at and wait it out (as unhappy as I was, it was extremely comfortable, secure, and familiar) OR transcend this lukewarm way of life, get uncomfortable, ask for help and figure this out. One thing I did know at that time was that the teaching profession was not going to give me the support that I needed when it came to taking care of myself.
I could see clearly that that part was in my own hands.
I sought out outside support and things started to shift. I learned how to elevate my energy, manage my mindset, set healthy boundaries and divorce my teacher guilt. Exactly in that order. I rebranded my identity and felt reconnected with myself. Building my self-empowerment gave me the ability to generate a feeling of certainty and confidence in myself even when support was low and the chaos was high. That's when I started to learn that nothing could control me if I was in control of me.
I was sinking into the perspective of human first, teacher second by working closer to my contract hours and being confident in knowing that what I was doing was enough. I didn't feel forced to play by the tired teacher rules and no longer cared so much about what other's thought / comparing myself to anyone else. I made decisions that were best for me. I created space to reset every single day so that I could show up as my best self. I felt my daily dread decrease and my mood, health, and self-esteem increase.
Teaching remained the same, the education system didn't change, it was actually getting worse. Nothing outside of me was different, yet my entire reality felt different. I did not solve the education issues or learn how to make the very real problems go away. I wasn't given a magic pill or the secret to balance because neither of those exist. It was the inner resources and personal agency I gained that helped me become bigger than my problems and always in the energy of solutions which helped me feel happier, more confident, and more empowered in the classroom and more importantly, in my life.
I become a person who believes where there's a will there's a way and that I'm bigger than any problem. I set completely new standards for my life and felt like I was living more than I was working, which is exactly what I love to help teachers do today.
At the end of that school year, I built the courage to leave the classroom and follow my interest in becoming an instructional coach, which opened my eyes to the fact that so many teachers feel powerless, the same way I once felt. This affirmed my passion for wanting to help others live better. Fast forward to 2020 where became an integrative health coach to expand my coaching skills and created a business of my own helping teachers not only heal their burnout, but helping them find more fulfillment, empowerment, self-love, and freedom in their lives again, just like I had found in mine.
I'm continuously working on myself, unapologetically following my passions, and fully accepting who I am. Life feels easier even on the hard days because I have the tools to approach each day from an empowered place and the mindset that believes that I'M in control of my life which means nothing is impossible, I'm never stuck, I can do things differently, and that my happiness is up to me. But this all started at step one.
I'm here to help you take that same step. Life shifts once you shift.
My greatest hope is that I've inspired you to start showing up for yourself more.
To take the wheel if you're experiencing burnout or dissatisfaction in any way, shape or form.
To realize that you can experience life the way YOU want to experience it.
No more putting yourself second.
No more settling.
No more waiting for anyone else to take care of you.
You are more than enough and you, and only you, get to choose how life gets to be for you.
You are so worthy the same love and support that you so freely give everyone else, it's time to give that back to yourself.
Whether it's remaining a teacher or taking the leap and trying something new, I'm cheering you on and here to help you create a life that is supportive to your deepest sense of happiness and biggest desires.
There is more to life and more for YOU!
You are more than a teacher.