Teacher's Mind, Body, &Spirit Reset

Nineteen years ago when I took my first public school teaching position, I knew I wasn't going to live large in dollars but have always prioritized making a difference. And I am really proud how I've been able to make it work. Over the years as a single mom, I have worked hard to meet the needs of my children and of my students. Now, 19 years in, I’ve reached a tipping point. I find that my stress level is overwhelming and is impacting my ability to give to others. I need to press the reset button and establish some healthy routines to get myself back in order. “You can’t give what you don’t have,” is a saying that really resonates with me right now. At this moment, I am spent. I am tired. I have little to give.

When I first read about Breathe for Change (URL), I was hesitantly excited. It sounds like exactly what I need. Time away to think about how I handle stress for myself and in the school. I read the website and talked it out with friends. When a long time friend said she thought she had enough hotel points to sponsor my stay, I was giddy. That was the point in which I knew I needed to make this happen for myself. I need the time to connect with other educators in an authentic way and learn healthy ways to manage the seemingly insurmountable stress caused my profession these days.

In reading the information on the web site, I cried when I read this statement: “When we are empowered to be our best selves, we transform the well-being of our communities.” Right now I know I’m not my best self. I have spent years giving to others and in the process have lost much of what I need to be myself. For me to be an effective educator, I need the time to reflect and do the hard work to process all of the life events I’ve experienced in the past 19 years. Yoga, mindfulness meditation, social emotional learning strategies, and a supportive community could be the right mix to make this happen for me.

And, as a person who typically is one to offer help, asking for help doesn’t come easy. I’m facing some fairly major repairs on my home this summer and am not able to produce the funding required to take the training, cover my home on this end, and housing on that end. I have already secured a scholarship from the organization and am looking for inexpensive housing, travel, etc but I need help. I hope that you will consider this a means of paying it forward rather than a hand out as I'm sure it will make me a better educator. Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Organizer

Leslie Koga Roberts
Organizer
Memphis, TN

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