Now and then, we need to take a step back to refocus and recharge ourselves.
You know that time during the school year when you need that extra little charge? Do you need to refocus? With all teachers have on their plates, sometimes we get exhausted! We stay up late grading or coming up with and preparing great lessons!
Although we love our jobs and love working with our students, we all need a little break to refocus and recharge, not just for ourselves but for our students as well. As we head into another school year, it’s important to remember we are awesome, we are human, and we matter. We can do our best when we treat ourselves better.
Take Time for Yourself
Last school year, in my January Tech Tip Tuesday email to my school’s district, I asked everyone to make a New Year’s resolution. The New Year’s resolution I asked them to make was to take care of themselves – self-care. “Self-care means taking part in activities that improve your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical well-being,” says Christopher Ryan Jones, PsyD.
Every Tuesday for the remainder of the school year, I included a self-care tip in the Tech Tip Tuesday in hope that everyone would keep the New Year resolution. Self-care doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Sometimes, we get so busy we forget, but taking care of ourselves can help us feel better as well as actually also make us more productive.
A few simple ideas for daily self-care:
Find a spot that makes you feel calm.
- Take 20 minutes out of your day to stop, go to that spot, take a deep breath, clear your mind, and enjoy a cup of tea.
- Make sure your computer, tablet, and cell phone (silence your phone) are all out of reach.
- Twenty minutes might seem like a chunk of time, and it will at first, but stick with it. Those quick 20 minutes pay dividends.
Keep a positivity journal.
- Take time daily to write a few things you are grateful for or things that make you happy.
- Writing these thoughts down helps you connect with and redirect your attention to the positive around you.
How Other Educators Recharge
As I mentioned, we were on a mission to keep ourselves cared for and refreshed together. Remember, we don’t have to go at it alone!
A few of my colleagues shared some of their best tips and practices:
Mini-vacation is probably the most effective destresser. A change of scenery gets my mind off the challenges to other important things. Sometimes just a dinner with friends is effective. Talking things out – don’t keep it bottled up!
– Diane Perry, Grade 5 math teacher
I usually do something relaxing with my wife and/or try to meet my son and grandkids at the pool. In non-COVID times, take a trip to see my family in New York.
– Keith Cohen, high school environmental science teacher
When I need to refocus my “talents” or “gift” of teaching, I take on the role of the student and begin taking classes. Immersing myself in content as a student would. It helps me visualize and experience just as one of my students would. I realize that if I cannot understand or follow the task, then my students cannot. Fine-tuning these skills are essential for both teacher and student success.
– Natalie Krassner, middle school computer science teacher
When I need a recharge, I pick up a book. Typically a book within my specialty. Just a change of mental scenery helps recharge my mental and emotional mindset.
– Christina Griffis, middle school biology teacher
Remember to take time for yourself. You will feel better and be more productive and ready to meet upcoming challenges.
Get more inspo and encouragement for the school year:
“Teacher tips for a new school year”
“Your reading roundup: Articles to encourage and inspire educators like you”
“New year, new tips, same great reason: How to gear up after break”
“Staycation: Tourist in your own home”