Who Takes Care of the Teacher?

When I think of the stressed out teacher, I think of one who works hard, but is rarely affirmed as a good human being or revered as a leader. 

I think of the teacher who has a powerful personal story, but doesn’t have a safe space to compose it.

I see the teacher who feels overwhelmed by a whole bunch of emotions (her own multiplicities), and she is not encouraged to go deep with them. 

I see the teacher who dreams of a calm place without chaos, judgments, and the demand to produce outcomes. 

I dream of a world where teachers, caretakers, and artists have access to flower pots that can contain them. Where they can let go of pent up stuff. 

I dream of a space where they can feel connected, calm, and creative about their own inner worlds. “Good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher,” writes Parker J. Palmer in  The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher’s Life. 

I am that lonely teacher.

I was that scared teacher, afraid to show my authentic self because I thought no one had time to listen.

“If we want to grow as teachers — we must do something alien to academic culture: we must talk to each other about our inner lives — risky stuff in a profession that fears the personal and seeks safety in the technical, the distant, the abstract” (Palmer). 

Where can this happen? Who will take care of the teacher? 

Places like The Sofia Center in Albuquerque are caring for the whole teacher and her inner world. They respect the teacher’s voice, call them into greater relational awareness with other teachers, and curate sessions that refresh and rejuvenate the exhausted. 

After almost twenty years of teaching I too feel called to create a gentle and calm space for teachers to explore their complex and beautiful inner worlds. 

Here at The Writing Shed, you are invited to feel the nurturing power of group energy, to experience creative bursts (just because), and to be transformed by what matters to your personal exploration. No grades. No evaluations. No unrealistic expectations. No shutting the door to block out the noise. Just a healing atmosphere and unconditional regard for who you are.