What’s a Better Gift for Teachers
than coffee mugs or holiday ornaments?
Compassionate Listening Sessions!
We all need to vent and feel heard, but nobody more than teachers.
And, as it turns out, humans are actually healthier for expressing their frustrations, challenges, and joys constructively
within a safe, trusted relationship.
It Takes One to Know One
When I was a high school teacher, before I left the profession to become a mental health professional, I felt unheard— by administrators, parents, and the community where I worked. I felt that people didn’t really understand my specific experiences or made assumptions about my distress based on stereotypes about the teaching profession.
I lacked a neutral, unbiased person to whom I could convey my unique and creative personal and professional ideas, concerns, and stressors, or anyone in whom I might confide about policies and curricula that challenged my integrity and my understanding and approach to teaching, learning, classroom management, and relationships with students.
Very few people existed with whom I could share my mistakes, but failure is necessary to improving and growing as an educator. I recall a lot of fear and silence around making mistakes with students. In short, too many teachers are reluctant to trust and confide in others for fear of being reprimanded, judged critically, or worse– totally misunderstood.
I also found that overloading my spouse and friends with teaching-related venting was not helpful to me nor them. Their listening was not what I really needed and it was biased. I lamented the lack trusting listeners at work and the risks involved with divulging some of my HONEST thoughts and feelings which caused me enormous private stress. I am sure the energy I was burning up with extra stress detracted from my performance both at home and at work.
As a result, I felt stuck and repressed.
Been there, Done that!
Teachers need to feel heard and understood by someone outside of the school system, yet someone who can genuinely understand– who has literally “been there” and can “relate” to the teaching experience, identity, and all it entails– the highs and lows, stresses and joys. Teachers need a human resource, a support person, who knows not only what it’s like to be a teacher and walk in a teacher’s shoes, but someone who has been clinically trained in empathy and compassionate listening.
Someone with whom you can tell the truth, safely.
A Good Listener May Be Just What You Need!
A good listener is nonjudgmental, open-minded, and emotionally regulated. Listeners do not give advice nor try to fix nor adjust nor resist anything! A good listener receives openly, and offers a calm, compassionate presence with empathy. Good listening is done face-to-face, body-to-body, and it’s authentic. No phones, no interruptions by texts, no distractions.
As an English teacher for more than 14 years, I taught students to listen as part of their language arts development. I also have years of experience listening to my own body and mind within my yoga practice, and teaching others to listen to themselves, with compassion, as a yoga instructor.
And in my academic and clinical training to be a mental health counselor, I learned how to listen for therapeutic benefit of clients for nervous system health, cognitive functioning and emotional regulation. I also raised 4 teenagers as a single mom,
so let’s just say– I’ve learned a lot about how to really show up for other people and make them feel heard and cared for.
So, Teachers, Listen up!!!
Maybe you have a side hustle you want to discuss.
Maybe you are struggling with relationships with co-workers or supervisors.
Maybe you don’t feel well physically or are exhausted too much.
Maybe you have a new baby and just returned to the classroom and are struggling with guilt or inadequacy.
Maybe you are feeling overwhelmed trying to balance job (or 2) and family life.
Maybe you just survived a pandemic and
your world being turned upside down!
Maybe you have difficult and challenging students or parents or caseloads you’re trying to manage, but you don’t know how to broach a conversation with your boss about your challenges.
Maybe you are struggling with your identity as a teacher or insecurities and fears around your teaching style
or maybe you are trying to leave the profession
but don’t know how.
Maybe you have ideas about a master’s thesis or a dissertation you’d like to bounce off someone neutral and objective.
Maybe you just want to vent and freak out on someone who can bear to hear it all without judgment.
Maybe you are just tired or bored and want to talk about your loss of passion or brainstorm about how to regain it.
Maybe you have radical ideas about ways you teach
and things you are experimenting with in the classroom,
but you fear judgement or resistance from others.
You aren’t looking for someone to tell you what to do–
you only want to say your ideas and concerns aloud.
You aren’t sick.
You don’t need coaching or therapy– only
someone to be present and listen to you.
Someone you can trust and feel safe with and
who can be accepting and non-judgmental–
Maybe you want to hear back what you tell this listener,
so you can clarify your ideas and thoughts?
SAFETY FIRST AND TRUST
Nervous systems need safety, so they aren’t so stressed and hyper-vigilant, and so that learning and growth can happen.
Your privacy is a priority with me, and confidentiality is key.
I have no skin in the game, except to listen, as a service to you,
my fellow educators.
And I am willing to bet…
Your health and stress level will benefit greatly from
this experience with me as your sounding board.
Research in psychotherapy shows that compassionate presence and skilled listening within a safe relationship can improve your overall health– it’s foundational to wellness.
So, I invite you to be heard by a highly-qualified, capable,
neutral, humanistically-oriented resource; a living, breathing, former classroom teacher who can listen empathically and compassionately––all for your health benefit.
Contact me below to schedule
Compassionate Listening Sessions or to acquire
sessions for a deserving teacher you know and love!
60-minute session for $40
*Gift cards & Multi-session packages available at a discount.
I look forward to hearing from you!