As a full time teacher, a mother of two boys and one more on the way, and doctoral student preparing for the final defense of my dissertation, I need all the support I can get. Afterall, the laundry doesn’t do itself. The house doesn’t clean itself, and the meals don’t cook themselves.
The problem is, I’m not someone who typically asks for help. And by that I mean ev-er. I never ever ask for help.
I have excellent relationships with my husband, my colleagues, parent-friends, and my in-laws who live close to me; however, I can’t tell you the last time I called any of them for a favor. I often think as long as I am mentally or physically capable, I should be doing the work. I have a glass-half-full, thankful-every-day, my problems aren’t really problems mindset, and if I was given the strength to mother and teach, I’m going to do both to the best of my ability.
There are days that have been non-stop work sunup to sundown, and days that I wish I hadn’t taken on so much, but overall I feel like I’ve taken advantage of the extra time I’ve gained with many social events and child activities being shut down during the Coronavirus and have put that time toward crushing some personal goals like earning my doctorate degree. If I have been blessed with the health to do it, I should keep doing it all myself, right?
Of course not. There is a major flaw in this mindset. No matter how healthy, confident, or competent any of us may be blessed to be, we need to let others into our world. There are benefits that come with our vulnerability, our openness, and our connections with others. Closer relationships, expansions of visions/goals/and dreams, and the enrichment of our lives and our actions having other human perspectives and personalities interacting closely with ours are only the tip of the iceberg. Even research has shown that relationships are one of the most important factors in living a long life.
It was only when I began talking about my vision for Education Blueprint openly and identifying areas where I needed support that this idea started to become tangible. Without the wisdom of Nicole as a college, Laura as a mother and business manager, and Lily and Hope as eager, outgoing interns, the dream of supporting educators worldwide in a collective, collaborative environment to keep up with digital education resources would still be just that- a dream.
With the support of educators and those passionate about our mission surrounding me, growth is happening. We are learning from one another, we are splitting up duties and responsibilities. We are engaging in brainstorming sessions.
Similar to how we blossom, other educators are learning how to find networks on their own to continue their own personal and professional growth. It may not always be a college that can help you in your building, sometimes the support is in-person and sometimes it is on Tik Tok. What I know for sure is our growth occurs because of the initial understanding that none of us are alone in this. We are all working to make our classrooms and our educational system a better, more equitable place.
Educator support systems are a fundamental part of growth. We need to each make sure we are asking for the help we need and if it doesn’t come in person, seeking to find our support networks in an online format. The Teach Better Team and Education Blueprint are here to help with continuous support of you as an educator.