Kids, Love of Teaching, Mental Health, school, Students, Teach, Teaching

Teaching after a School Shooting

Today, I write with a heavy heart.

I am an educator in the U.S.  This week, we once again saw another mass shooting at a school.  My heart breaks.  My stomach churns.  I cried as I watched the videos.  Yet, our country turns against one another instead of coming together to find solutions to keep our kiddos safe.

Why?

A statistic was released this week that 18 school shootings have occurred since January 1, 2018.  Then different stories came out about each of these shootings.  Some shootings were due to suicides on school campuses but not in school hours.  Others were from bullets hitting a window.  A round of bullets being fired in a school parking lot.  The stories continued.  Here is the fact though: There have been multiple school shootings this year.  That is appalling.  For those screaming “There were only three, not eighteen!” Shame. On. You.  There was one, more than one.  It’s an issue. A large and scary issue.

As teachers, we go above and beyond to keep our kiddos safe.  We will, and do, put our lives on the lines to save your child.  We put our own families and children on the back burner so your kid is safe and learns in a welcoming and safe environment.

So why do I write this?  For many of my international readers, I always value your opinions.  Why?  Simple:

  • The UK has not had a school shooting since 1996.
  • Australia’s last school shooting was in 1996.
  • Germany, Finland, and Scotland have responded to attacks on schools with large policy changes.
  • Switzerland has high gun ownership, but school shootings do not exist.
  • In Germany, you must pass a rigorous psychological and medical exam if you are under 25 and trying to obtain a firearm.

Here are more facts:

  • Parents are waking up this morning with their child no longer alive in their bed.
  • Parents are planning their child’s funerals.
  • Bright minds and futures were extinguished this week quickly and violently.
  • The gunman legally bought his firearm, even after being flagged by the FBI for speaking about becoming a professional school shooter.
  • Our children need to be safe at school.

As a teacher, I find myself reading comments from individuals saying that teachers are “sitting ducks” and “too merciful” if a gunman entered the school.  Little do they know that teachers will fight to the death to keep their students safe.  I’ve watched, heard, and read individuals fight more about guns and firearms, instead of discuss the issue at hand and speak intelligently and respectfully about ways to protect our future.

Our kids come to school with problems–abuse, financial burdens, hungry, homeless, hurt, and broken.  They carry the worries of their parents and families.  Some do not know where their next meal will come.  These kiddos depend on our schools to keep them safe and away from harm.  School shootings should not be added to their worries.

Whatever your stance may be, let’s get one thing straight: We must protect our kids at all costs.  Instead of becoming divided on this issue, let’s strike a spark in our country to make a change and keep our children safe. 

We have parents, teachers, and students afraid to go to school, worried if it will happen to them, and planning what to do if the event happens.  Being prepared is a must.  However, what can we do as Americans to get this issue under control?  Other countries have, why can’t we? Let’s not forget this event and merely move forward.  Let’s spark change.

xoxo

Your Wanderer

Career, Job, Kids, Love of Teaching, school, Students, Teach, Teaching, Teaching and Learning, Teaching and Traveling

Top 10 Teacher Pet Peeves

Let me say. this first–I LOVE my profession.  Just like any profession, we have our own pet peeves that make us want to pull our hair out and bang our head against the brick wall.  So what are our top 10 pet peeves?

 

TOP 10 TEACHER PET PEEVES

  1. No Name on Paper–Please…please, just write your stinkin’ name at the top of the page.                                           name on paper
  2. Repeating Myself...for the hundredth time–When I spent 10 minutes explaining the direction, and a hand immediately raises and asks “what am I supposed to do?” my eyes slightly bulge and I have to count to ten in my head.              frustrated gifs
  3. Losing Planning Time–Yes, let’s take my 30 minute planning period that I am supposed to grade papers, create a differentiated lesson, answer emails and phone calls, create materials, and set up lesson preps and just get rid of it for something else that is a waste of time.                                 frustrated gifs 1
  4. Talking during the lesson–Maybe you’d know what to do if you stopped talking to your friend….                                       teacher gifs 1
  5. Long meetings–A short meeting?  What are those?  They do not exist.            meeting gifs
  6. Misbehaving during an Observation–We’ve all been there.           ill_kill_you_office
  7. Extra Credit Requests–Sure, extra credit is sometimes needed if a massive group of students don’t do well on a test (when in reality we should re-evaluate our teaching methods and re-teach the lesson), and sometimes one student does bomb a test.  I’m not talking about that.  We know that kid.  The one who never studies.  The one who has an excuse for every homework assignment or project.  No…no you may not get extra credit.                                            willy wonka
  8. Will This Be on the Test?–Yes.                            yes
  9. Seeing the Classroom as their Bedroom–I’ll never forget my second year of teaching.  I had a fabulous group of kiddos.  Yet, I will never forget a student who constantly lost his papers.  Finally, I asked him where he was placing them.  “I put them right here on the floor!  Someone must have stolen my papers!” No kiddo.  No.  That’s when I explained my room was not his bedroom.  It was an eye-opening and ground breaking moment for him.                                  why would you do that
  10. Do We Have To?–What do you think the answer will be? Yes.  Then Yes.             teacher gifs 4

 

But at the end of the day, we wouldn’t trade our job for anything else!

 

xoxo

You Wanderer

Anxiety, Anxious, Career, Graduate Degree, Graduate School, Help Needed, High Functioning Anxiety, Job, Kids, Mental Health, Teach, Teaching, Time Management, Travel Italy

Living with High Functioning Anxiety

Let’s talk about anxiety.  High functioning anxiety.

Why?

  • Women are more likely to experience anxiety.
  • People from North America and Western Europe are more likely to be affected by anxiety.
  • Anxiety affects 18.1% of adults in the U.S.
  • Estimates of 30% of people don’t seek help
  • Around 10% of those with anxiety…seek effective help.

As a teacher and traveler, I find myself battling with anxiety.  No.  I’m not talking about stress and I smack a label on it with anxiety.  I don’t go around telling every individual that I struggle with anxiety.  Sure, I talk about awareness with friends and family, but I don’t use my anxiety as an excuse at work or even at home.

There are so many types of anxiety disorders too: general anxiety, panic disorder, social anxiety, etc.

I have High Functioning Anxiety.  So what’s it like?  Truly like? What are triggers?

  1. Restlessness–The brain does NOT shut off.  This is a common symptom for people with anxiety, and women.  Why women?  Well, studies show that a woman’s brain chemistry is different and hormone fluctuations are also linked to anxiety.  Women are more prone to stress, react differently to their life events, and think deeply about stressors.  Bingo.  A person with high functioning anxiety can look calm as a cucumber on the surface, but inside their brain is going a million miles a minute.
  2. Time–I have found that people with anxiety focus on time.  They need to be on time.  They watch that clock. “I’m late!” is a common phrase…even though they arrive 15 minutes early to everything.  Time can be an anxiety trigger.  Being with a group of people that are running late? Anxiety triggered.  Someone else running late which affects a meeting or schedule? Anxiety triggered.          i'm late
  3. Personality Type–Although anxiety hits all types of personalities, I do find it interesting that type A individuals are more likely to be affected by stress-related illnesses.  Type A people are twice as likely to develop coronary heart disease.  Type A is achievement oriented, high-strung, intense, high individual expectations, and put high demands on themselves.  Can you see this as a recipe for trouble?  However, many personality types have traits and potentials for anxiety.  Read more here: https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2014/10/anxiety-and-personality-type/
  4. Sleep–Those with anxiety struggle with sleep.  Shocker? No.  Yet, you may hear that these people sleep waaaay more than the average person.  Here’s the thing–it’s not solid sleep.  It’s sleep that is riddled with dreams, waking up, and even panic attacks.  That doesn’t sound like a restful sleep to me.  So remember that your anxious friend may not be sleeping through the night and is realistically getting less sleep than you due to constantly waking up or laying in bed without actually falling asleep.                                                                                                                                                              can't sleep
  5. Silent–High functioning anxiety can be hard to detect.  Why? We look just fine and dandy on the outside.  Inside is where we are having an inner monologue that is freaking out.  I have quite a few close friends, a large family, a husband, and positive relationships with my co-workers.  Who can tell when my anxiety hits? My father and sometimes my husband.  It’s not many people. My heart races.  I zone out.  I’m caught in my own thoughts.  I need to be alone.  I feel fatigued, even dizzy.  My brain races. Chest tightens. These anxiety attacks last a few minutes to over an hour.  They feel never ending.  Yet, these symptoms are silent to those around me.  This is the hardest type of anxiety to detect.
  6. Perfectionist–Ah, perfectionism.  Maybe it’s my inner teacher, but this need and want has never left.  Those who struggle with perfectionism find themselves with anxiety at times.  Why?  That stack of papers over there needs to graded or at least filed properly.  Files are color coded.  Everything is labeled with the help of a label maker and in alphabetical order.  There is a specific place for everything. Unrealistic perfectionism can increase anxiety and, interestingly, they enhance one another.  Perfectionism leads to ideas of not being good enough or fearing mistakes. All or nothing thinking increases the anxiety, and most perfectionists see things as absolutes. Perfectionism is a major trigger (and even part of) anxiety. https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2014/05/the-link-between-perfectionism-and-anxiety/.                    perfect

So what do I do?  I plan to write another blog soon to give some tips on how to handle anxiety.  No, I’m not a psychiatrist or doctor, but I do struggle with anxiety.  Guess what? I also received help by a trained professional.  Getting help was one of the hardest and best things I ever did for my mental health.  Did the anxiety disappear? Absolutely not!  Was I able to handle it better? Yes.

Remember my teacher and traveling friends–take care of YOU.  Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

“The thing about an anxiety disorder is that you know it is stupid. You know with all your heart that it wasn’t a big deal and that it should roll off of you. But that is where the disorder kicks in. Suddenly the small things is very big and it keeps growing in your head, flooding your chest, and trying to escape from under your skin. You know with all of your heart that you’re being ridiculous and you hate every minute of it.”

xoxo

Your Wander

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