Teachers for Teachers | Slice of Life: Never Worry Alone #SOL18
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Slice of Life: Never Worry Alone #SOL18

Our principal was sharing his thoughts about recent events and his response to our students during our school council meeting.  It is so difficult. Shifting my elementary perspective to high school is not easy.  On the one hand, no one wants to cause unnecessary worry or stress for students, but as high schoolers they are fully aware of recent events and cannot be told to not worry.  They have a right to worry.  They have due cause to worry.  So, what can be said to them?

His message was to never worry alone.

I have been thinking about these three words ever since.  Never worry alone.  I sketched them during a meeting.  I focused on them during a run.  I placed them on the “possible topics” stickie on my computer desktop.  I was not sure what I wanted to do with them and honestly, I am still not sure as I type this post.  But I continue to repeat them to myself – never worry alone.

There are many messages in these words.  First and foremost, they validate the emotion.  Rather than saying why worry or don’t worry, these words accept the emotion that is being experienced and is open to this emotion.

These words suggest that one should take action with this emotion.  If you are worried, you should tell someone.  It does nothing to let an emotion fester and eat away at you.  If something feels worrisome it is worrisome to you, so do something about it.  There is power in action.  So, when we act on our worry we are exerting our power over it.

These words suggest that there is someone who cares.  Even if you think you have no one to turn to or if you think it may be no big deal – tell someone.  Share your worry with another person.

These words also suggest that the other person will share the worry with you – not dismiss it or judge it.


I am a worrier.  I have been told countless times throughout my life not to worry.  This response is not helpful in any way.  If you are worried, you are worried.  You can’t just “unworry.”  You can work through it, put it in perspective, or have it consume you.  You can’t just wish it away.  These words suggest you need to take a step to understand and work through it.  Sharing your worry allows you to hear another person’s perspective.  Sharing your worry releases some of the burden.  Sharing your worry puts you in control of it.

I think these words apply to so many situations in life.  The wisdom in these words is truly invaluable.  What a better world this would be if we taught kids to never worry alone?  These words may even prevent some of the tragedies happening in our country.  How would things change if every child believed someone cared about their worry? How would things change if every child felt validated?  How would things change if every child believed their feelings matter?  How would things change if we created space for every child to feel their point of view was understood?

Never worry alone.

I plan to carry these words with me and to share them with every child I encounter in one way or another.


Thank you to StaceyBetsyBethKathleenDebMelanie, and Lanny for creating this community and providing this space for teachers and others to share their stories every day in March and on Tuesdays throughout the year

  • Avatar
    Rose Cappelli
    Posted at 11:53h, 13 March Reply

    Thank you, Clare. From one worrier to another, these are important words. I think because we’ve been told so often not to worry that we tend to hold it all in, causing even more anxiety. “Never worry alone” is something I will carry with me, too.

  • Avatar
    Aileen Hower
    Posted at 11:58h, 13 March Reply

    Good advice to remember!

  • Avatar
    Christine Baldiga
    Posted at 11:59h, 13 March Reply

    Three very powerful words indeed. I too am a worrier and I know when I don’t share my worries they grow and indeed they fester. When I have the – no take the opportunity to share oftentimes the worries diminish if not disappear.
    Never worry alone! Sage advice that will indeed help us in these troubling times. .
    Thank you for sharing

  • Avatar
    Susan Kennedy
    Posted at 12:35h, 13 March Reply

    These words suggest you need to take a step to understand and work through it. I’m deeply entrenched in my coaching hat. For me, it might also be about sharing your worries moves you closer to solutions. I want to write about this now.

  • Avatar
    Diane Dougherty
    Posted at 13:00h, 13 March Reply

    Thoughtful slice. I, too, am a worrier and you are so right: being told “not to worry” doesn’t help one bit. Fortunately, I have a partner who will hear me worry without judgment This past year has been an exercise in not worrying alone. Thank you so much for your thoughts today

  • Avatar
    Kendra Limback
    Posted at 13:09h, 13 March Reply

    Never worry alone. Thank you. This piece reminded me of a section from The Curious Classroom, the section on leaning into crisis. Of course that looks different at different ages. But it really freed me to not feel like I had to “blow over” if you will, any crisis that kids were discussing. It encouraged me to lean in and figure out alongside the kids what we could do to help. Thank you for this reminder of community.

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    Amanda Potts
    Posted at 13:11h, 13 March Reply

    Oh! I love this. I am a worrier, too, and I won’t soon forget your principal’s advice. Also, this: ‘If you are worried, you are worried. You can’t just “unworry.”’ EXACTLY. Thanks for this thoughtful post.

  • Avatar
    Lynne R Dorfman
    Posted at 14:10h, 13 March Reply

    I really thought about your post and how you chose to reflect on a simple sentence: Never worry alone. Certainly, you found power and great value in these words. While I also tend to worry about things, I am also an optimist. That always helps relieve the stress. I agree that sharing worries with another may be a way to avoid tragic consequences for some of our students. It helps when we know someone will openly listen and care about our concerns and feelings. Thanks, Clare.

  • Avatar
    Carol Varsalona
    Posted at 14:47h, 13 March Reply

    Clare, “What a great takeaway from you post” There is power in action. So, when we act on our worry we are exerting our power over it.” This will be my call to action today.

  • Avatar
    Michelle Nero
    Posted at 17:12h, 13 March Reply

    I appreciate these three words too. It validates feelings, yet frees us to share. These words will stay with me too, for a long time. Thank you for sharing … even though you didn’t know where this slice was going to go! You definitely struck a chord!

  • Avatar
    Karen Szymusiak
    Posted at 22:30h, 13 March Reply

    Clare, I am so glad you shared this post. “Never worry alone.” I will be thinking about these words for a long time. I want to put them on a post it or two or three and hang them in places where they will remind me how important they are. I worry, too. Unfortunately, I do most of my worrying in the middle of the night – not the best time to “never worry alone”. But these words ring in my mind and my heart. They will remind me to talk and share.

    I see this even more important for the children in our classrooms. I hope we can build relationships with children that will encourage this kind of sharing. Together we can tackle things that appeared to be impossible. Children need that kind of support system. “Never worry alone.” Wise words.

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    Pam Lingelbach
    Posted at 23:36h, 13 March Reply

    I love this post.

    I needed this post.

    I also teach high school. Last year we had a protest at our school that went really, really wrong. Long story short, worry has been my number one pastime for the last month.

    .Your principal sounds wise.

  • Avatar
    Posted at 16:05h, 15 March Reply

    After writing about the fear of flush and reading your comment, I had to visit your post as I wondered about worry. I am grateful that you wrote this advice as I will take it to heart (I’m a worrier too) and share it with others too.

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