Do We Have to Choose Between Work and Wellness? | Hooray For Monday

June 24, 2024

By Aleta Margolis, Founder and President

Prefer audio? Listen to this newsletter on the Hooray For Monday podcast.

Last weekend I had the pleasure of seeing the amazing Gipsy Kings in concert at Wolf Trap in Vienna, Virginia. My husband Michael and I have loved their music for many years, and this was the first time we got to see them perform in person.

The experience was, I imagine, similar to what it must have been like to attend a Beatles concert. The audience was on their feet, dancing, and screaming for almost the entire concert. The band, led by veteran artists Nicolas Reyes and Tonino Baliardo, both in their mid ‘60s, performed for over two hours without an intermission and with barely a few seconds in between songs. I found myself wondering where the performers found the stamina for such an extraordinary undertaking.

Enjoying the fruits of the Gipsy Kings’ hard work!

As I marveled at the band’s stamina and skill, I thought about conversations I’m having with my teaching colleagues about wellness. These conversations, understandably, tend to center on the importance of taking time to rest, taking time away from hard work. And of course, rest is an important and often undervalued component of self-care.

But the exhilarating concert reminded me that hard work, when it is fueled by a joyful sense of purpose, is also part of wellness. As I’ve written previously, hard work and well-being are not at odds with each other. In fact, hard work can fuel joy.

This week Center for Inspired Teaching will welcome our 2024-2025 cohort of Teaching With Improvisation Fellows. This group of Washington, DC teachers will jump into their fellowship with an intensive Institute, during which they will be 100% engaged – intellectually, emotionally, and physically – in strengthening both their teaching practice and their well-being. And they’ll be learning how creative constraints – in this case DC’s new SEL (social & emotional learning) standards – can actually fuel creativity and a joyful sense of purpose.

Teaching with Improvisation Fellows joyfully engaging in Inspired Teaching’s improvisation-based professional development at the 2023 summer Institute.

Keep an eye out for updates on our fabulous new crop of Fellows, and read on for resources that can fuel joy and hard work simultaneously.

For rock stars and teachers alike, joy does not preclude doing things that are difficult. In fact, the most deeply felt joy is often a product of the effort, time, and perseverance we put toward accomplishing the things that push us. As the school year comes to a close and the summer solstice emerges, it’s time to find rest, and also to find new ways of combining work and joy.

For additional insights, resources, and information on Inspired Teaching teacher and youth programming, subscribe to the Hooray For Monday newsletter!

Hooray For Monday is an award-winning weekly publication by Center for Inspired Teaching, an independent nonprofit organization that invests in and supports teachers. Inspired Teaching provides transformative, improvisation-based professional learning for teachers that is 100% engaging – intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Our mission is to create radical change in the school experience – away from compliance and toward authentic engagement.

Listen to This Week’s Episode of Hooray For Monday

[showmodule id="1045"] [showmodule id="140"] [showmodule id="141"]