The Storm Only Lasts For A While So Smile

Blog Mental Health storms

It’s no secret that our SMSU teacher candidates work their tails off during their junior methods year. In addition to their outside jobs and lives and losses, they are juggling at least three methods courses per semester plus trying to fulfill 45 + hours of field experience each semester.

Just typing that made me want to crawl back into bed and slumber for a little bit longer.

Last Tuesday during my Social Studies Methods class, the teacher candidates seemed lethargic. I asked if they were tired and the majority of the class shook their heads yes or quietly verbalized they were. Please understand, this group of candidates does not complain so I knew it was sincere exhaustion they were feeling. Unfortunately, last week was only week two of our spring semester. Goodness gracious.

I was thankful I had planned a Mental Health Check activity for my two sections that morning so I could demonstrate for the teacher candidates how they might check in on THEIR future students’ mental health. Clearly, my teacher candidates needed checking in on too!! (I tweaked this from an idea I found on Pinterest. Click on the picture below to read more about it).

Blog Mental Health

I gave each teacher candidate a sticky note and had them write their name on the backside so their name would be hidden when stuck on the chalkboard (yes, chalkboards still exist). The columns I placed on the chalkboard looked a little like this:

I’m Great!     I’m Okay!     I’m So-So!     I’m Struggling!     Help Me!

After all sticky notes were on the chalkboard under one of those labels, I had five (5) sticky notes in the “I’m Struggling” column and one (1) in the “Help Me” column. When class was over, I headed to my office computer and sent out an email to each of those individuals to ask how I could help. Below is a picture of the email I sent along with a picture of a response email from one of my struggling teacher candidates.

Blog Mental Health Email2

Blog mental Health email

While walking this morning, I heard this song by Sidewalk Prophets on the radio and it made me think of you, teacher candidates. ❤🙌  The lyrics are spot on and meant for you…

Lost your way, lost your cool
Then you straight up lost your mind
Tried so hard to stay ahead
But you keep falling behind

Life is gonna pull you down
Make it hard to see
But a little change in your point of view
Could be just what you need

There’s always a reason
To always choose joy
There’s something deeper
That the world can’t destroy

Smile, when you think you can’t
Smile, get up and dance
Smile, there’s a bigger plan
The storm only lasts for a while

So smile

As you go forward in your teacher preparation training remember the storm of your assignments, clinical, driving time, field experience hours, research papers, edTPA, presentations, class attendance, meetings and so on…. only lasts for a while. So SMILE.

Once you have your program completed, that isn’t a guarantee the skies will always be blue and all storms will fade away. Your student teaching experience and then teaching in your own classroom will not be stormless. Storms or hardships will always be brewing on the horizon.

You’ll be okay, though. Storms produce perseverance; perseverance produces character; character produces hope. So…when those teaching storms hit…

Smile, get up and dance
Smile, there’s a bigger plan
The storm only lasts for a while

So smile (and never give up hope)

Stay Calm and SMILE!
Profs Dr. Wendy & Dr. V.

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