Cassandra Washington’s book, Teach and Take Time for You, was a book she came to after a career as an educator, principal, and teacher in the Chicago Public School System for 26 years. In that time she became intimately familiar with some of the less discussed challenges that teachers face in their career, mainly, teacher burnout. In a profession that requires a deep, personal commitment to the children and investment into their lives, it is important for educators to find a balance between investing in the children’s lives and essential self-care.
Washington focuses on wellness, because that balance is something young teachers aren’t taught in school. The foundation of maintaining personal wellness just isn’t there and as a result, she saw many teachers just fizzle out because there was no time for themselves. And though her focus is on educators, Washington sees this as an issue that affects many professionals and her tips applicable to many situations.
I asked Washington what she thought was compelling about the Soulful Chicago Book Fair and she said, there isn’t anything in Chicago like the Soulful Chicago Book Fair. It’s not only unique, but also carries an imperative mission of allowing Black people to share their stories not only with readers but, also with other authors as well.