Getting Through the School Day: The Power of Equanimity…

Posted: July 17, 2012 in For Educators
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Once you choose education as your career, you need to know that you’re also choosing to spend every day around moody, stormy, emotional, excitable children (and some adults as well.) And this can be one of the greatest elements of your career if you can learn to have a healthy relationship with the chaos. Every day you step foot in your school, whether it’s an inner city public school or a suburban private school, you get to be pulled into the moment. The noise and energy of schools can be inspiring and energizing. The constant motion, the incessant opportunities to help and teach and heal and support can be wonderful distractions from some of the every-day stresses of your non-professional life. Basically, if you choose to be, you get to be heroic on a daily basis, and this is a mutually beneficial role to play with your students. But the chaos can also be depleting. The fluctuations of your students’ moods and their dynamic, ever-changing needs can make you feel raw, vulnerable and exposed. You will be compelled to feel many emotions over the course of the day, and even within minutes and seconds. And this is where the quality of “equanimity” can save you and empower you to stay effective.

Learning how to maintain your own pace, while attending to all the duties of your job requires equanimity. Learning how to remain the calm, steady presence in the lives of your students is the kind of equanimity that will put them and keep them at ease in your company. Being able to be surrounded by highs and lows and volumes and varying needs, yet still be focused and attentive and deliberate, is what having equanimity will allow. The quality of equanimity is not something graduate programs can necessarily teach you, but it is a quality you can develop if you don’t already possess it.  In the most chaotic moments, you will FEEL the pull of the chaos, and if in that moment you can recognize the feeling and remind yourself to stay slow and purposeful, you’re well on your way to maintaining your energy (and keeping your sanity.)

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