Students, teachers, and administrators are more stressed than ever before and there are many, multi-faceted reasons for their stress. From globalization and economic realities to accountability and standardization and hundreds of other factors, the pressures and demands are at an unprecedented level and it is forcing many of the best and most caring teachers to retire or find other jobs as other teachers stay and face exhaustion, overwhelm, and other stress-related challenges.
The Empowered Education series has been created to promote improved wellness by creating shifts in mindset, promoting the use of relaxation techniques, sharing stories of inspiration, and promoting opportunities for meaningful connections.
The live seminars and materials have been inspired by the old adage, "You can't pour from an empty cup". Too many educators are pouring everything they have into their work and not leaving anything for themselves and that is detrimental on two levels - teacher stress and the effects of that stress on our students.
Although there are three distinct programs and different methods of delivery for each audience, the big concepts of creativity, compassion, confidence, connection and calm create the foundation for all of the Empowered Education programs.
Empowered Administrators: Administrators are superheroes in disguise. At any particular moment, they are in charge of dozens of things from big initiatives to individual concerns about students, teachers, and parents. They are also the leaders who model mindset and create the school culture so when their cup is empty, everyone else is impacted. So, in addition to being curriculum experts, leadership gurus, systems analysts, and logistical wizards, they also have to guide others toward social and emotional wellness. Clearly it is a challenge for many administrators to model stress management, positive mindset, and compassionate interactions unless they take time to work on these elements in their own lives. The Empowered Administrator program offers actionable practices that can be fully integrated and shared with faculty and staff. Small shifts really can make a big difference and sometimes we just need to take a break to celebrate and take care of ourselves in order to fill that cup back up.
Empowered Educators: Classroom teachers and support professionals now have more demands and less support than ever before and that combination is emptying educator cups at warp speed. Just as administrators are responsible for creating school culture, faculty and staff are responsible for creating classroom culture and everyone knows how easily one stressed out person can affect others - especially ones without a strong foundation of social and emotional wellness. Consequently, the Empowered Educator program encourages teachers to explore and enhance their mindset and wellness toolkit with meaningful and easy options so that they can take care of themselves, fill up their cup, and show their students how to do the same.
Empowered Students: This program focuses on similar skills and strategies in an interactive and engaging way to introduce students to the idea of choices. We can all choose to fill up the cup or let it drain, but we get caught on autopilot sometimes and forget to exercise those choices. Creativity, compassion, confidence, connection, and calm are meaningful ways to introduce social and emotional learning to students of all ages and this program empowers them to go on a journey of exploration so they can feel shifts and realize how much they can do to make their experiences better every day.