Updated: Apr 20, 2020
Fulfillment, passion, gratitude and joy are emotions I feel the majority of my days as an educator. I want to emphasize most days. When any balance or bliss is found, there will inevitably be days where one falls out of balance and struggles.
If you’re an educator you may be thinking... well I’m sure you work at a school with endless resources. You must work in one of the wealthiest districts with easy kids and higher salaries. I’m sure you’ve been teaching 10+ years and now it’s a cake walk.
I know someone’s thinking this because I’ve had these same thoughts. However, teaching is HARD no matter where, who or what you teach. It’s mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. Personally, I was floored by the necessity for impenetrable mental and emotional resilience when I first started teaching.
If you could line up 20 of today’s teachers and look into the near future, do you know what you would hear? Something like this: Yes. No. Yes. No. That’s the sound of 50% of teachers quitting the profession.
I barely made it into the “Yes” group. I expressed what many teachers report feeling: overworked, frustrated and undersupported. I also experienced what many teachers struggle with, but don’t realize until they make it to the other side… an overwhelming sense of loneliness.
In 2014 I struggled with the decision to join the “No” group or take one more gallant effort at teaching. The choice to stay a “Yes” and move to Guatemala to work in a different education system was a catalyst for years of personal growth that brought me to where I am today.
I learned that no number of trainings, resources or supports would make me a more resilient or satisfied teacher.
A strong mind, body and spirit were the key to unlocking the happiness I mentioned in the beginning. Through yoga, running, being in nature, meditating, reading books, listening to podcasts and the list goes on I learned tools and habits to grow my physical, mental and emotional resiliency. Changing ingrained habits and shifting perspectives and emotional reactions is extremely difficult work. It’s near impossible to do this work alone. So I surrounded myself with people who were working towards the same resiliency and happiness I was. I like to call these my Marigolds.
After reflecting on my relatively newfound happiness The Marigold Force came to fruition!
This personal type of development doesn’t exist for teachers. There’s no physical space to exercise our mental, emotional and physical fortitude that is required of teachers. This type of work can’t be done in an online forum either. We need real people, real connections, real growth. Now this rebel educator community exists. We can gather and bloom together so we can collectively say, “No More!”