Take care of yourself. Take care of others. In so many words that’s what this sign—which I’ve seen posted on local construction sites—reminds workers to do.
“Take care of yourself, take care of others” is also a way of life in schools that support the success of all students and staff members, a way of being together that improves the quality of learning and relationships in classrooms and within the school community as a whole.
Taking care of others, I am confident, was a reflexive reaction during the past week as schools across the United States and around the world grieved the students and staff members of Sandy Hook Elementary School and sought comfort with one another.
Putting others before self is a default setting for most teachers and principals, as it was at Sandy Hook. But it’s a practice that over time can have a devastating effect on one’s physical and emotional well being.
Because taking care of ourselves is ultimately a precondition for taking care of others, I hope the upcoming holiday break provides educators with abundant opportunities for physical, emotional, and spiritual renewal.
Such replenishment is essential even during the best of times. And these have not been the best of times.