• K. Hartsell shared a letter in the Group logo of Mental HealthMental Health group 3 weeks, 5 days ago

    Where have the Honeys Gone?

    Dear whomever;

    I became a teacher to shift the paradigm and break the chains of toxic tradition. My childhood education experience paralleled that of Matilda. Most all my teachers were more Trunchbull and less Honey with the exception of 2 up through high school graduation and gaining another 4 up through my masters program. When I decided to become a teacher, I wanted to be a Ms. Honey, I wanted to be what I so desperately needed as a child—And I did. My biggest flex is that I became the adult I needed, the teacher, the mom, the neighbor. But here’s what they don’t tell you: the cost of becoming a chain breaker, a paradigm shifter, a warrior, a Ms. Honey is expensive. Its loneliness, its heartbreak, its rage, frustration, anxiety, and despair.

    As an educator, you often hear: “Know your why”, “remember your why”, “it’s for the kids.” And while this is absolutely the truth and it does help keep focus; it does nothing to shield the abuse hurled from those satisfied, or even winning, with the mediocrity of tradition. My fellow educators are overwhelmed, defeated, and burnt out. This leaves no energy for change because change is hard work and dedication. I have found that very few admin appreciate growth as well. The worse abuse I have ever faced in education, is from principals and assistant principals. Those in power, when there is perceived threat of losing control or power become the most dangerous. It takes an unusual strength to stand in an abusive environment and feel unscathed. I don’t think I have this strength.

    I feel guilty because I think about leaving the education career. Yes I have thought about changing districts and schools- unfortunately, in my experience toxicity is everywhere and the unknown of new administration is scary. I don’t have much self or energy to give left. I never know when entering a new school environment if when they say things like they are “student centered” or “wanting student advocates” if they actually mean it. My experience has shown that more often these are tokens administration throws out to entice teachers with little to no intention of follow through.

    I look at the other Honey’s scattered throughout the US knowing they face similar treatment and I think of how brave and strong they are. I have my master’s degree, I am trauma informed, I’ve completed my national board certification- for absolutely nothing. I don’t have the skin to be unaffected by ill-treatment. I’m not a Trunchbull. But I’m not a Ms. Honey either. I don’t know what I am; I think I’m just finished.

    Kelsey Hartsell

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    • There is a famous quote that says “the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” When you are trying to do something different, or better, or if someone feels their power is threatened there are people who will hold you back and hurt you in effort to stop you Naysayers are almost a sign that you’re doing something right. The world needs people like you, people who put children first and are willing to put in the work.

      Don’t let someone else’s negativity hold you back from your passion or purpose. There is always another way.

      When I worked in tv, I dealt with a lot but I loved telling stories and I didn’t ever want to stop telling stories. Starting my own business was my way of finding a path to pursue my purpose and happiness without having to endure abuse similar to the type you described. Maybe your path is entrepreneurial or maybe it’s something else. Just never let anyone else take away something that makes you smile.

      The world needs more Honey. The world needs you!

      Stay strong. Never give up. And find a way.
      I got your back.


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      • Thank you Lauren, it’s good to know I’m not the only one. You’re right the quote is the perfect image for what I need to think about. I’ve got some meditating and energy work to do. I’m not sure what’s for me at this point, I need to clear out the fog so I can think.

        Thank you <3

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        • My mother used to tell me where there is a will, there is a way. If you want to help and educate children, there is a way for you to do that that is safe and joyful, and non-toxic. Don’t give up. <3 Lauren

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