Teaching is a high demand, low appreciation job.
That's harsh but let's face it--teachers are underappreciated. If I had a dollar for every time someone said to me, "It must be nice to get every summer off." OR "Wow, I wish my workday ended at 3:20 pm." I would have retired a lot earlier than I did!
👉The average person does not understand the demands put on a teacher.
👉The average person does not understand the constant worries of a teacher.
👉The average person does not understand what a teacher's daily life is all about.
I knew teachers were underappreciated when I started teaching in the early 1990s (yep that was a long time ago).
Over the years, I witnessed the amount of appreciation drop drastically and the workload of a teacher increase dramatically! Teaching can take a toll on any teacher's well-being and mental state.
I wish someone had told me early in my career how important self-care would be. I remember going into work at least an hour before the official reporting time, teaching until the dismissal bell at 3:20 pm and staying until at least 5:30 pm. Then, I would load up my teacher bag with papers to be graded, lessons plans to be prepared and go home to spread out and work until it was time to go to bed. I started my teaching career on a crash course to early teacher burnout!
3 Easy Steps For Teacher Self-Care
You must dispel the myth that self-care is selfish!
It's not true! The average person will never understand the #TeacherLife until he or she stands in the shoes of a teacher for just one day and takes on the ENTIRE agenda for the day including the meetings, the grading papers, the handling of children, the preparation of lessons, the delivery of lessons and the myriad of other tasks that teachers engage in on a daily basis.
You spend so much of your time each day attending to the needs of others that you neglect your own well-being.
You must take 10-15 minutes at the end of each school day to decompress and reflect.
You speed through one day and into the next that you forget to stop and think about the events of the day. You're so busy moving onto the next day's work that you forget to stop and think about all the successes you had that day and, if you're like me, you just want to move on from the challenges you had and just try again the next day hoping for better results.
It's so important to make a plan to meet your challenges face to face with a new plan or strategy. Because...we all know challenges don't just disappear, they always come back tougher than the day before.
Set an appointment with yourself EACH DAY to stop, decompress and reflect.
It's so important to just think back through the events of the day--positive and negative. Then document your successes and your considerations for improvement. Think of it as a gratitude journal.
When you stop to think about the day, you can build on the strengths of the day to focus on the challenges. It will you a clear focus as you busily move forward to prepare for the next day.
You must take time every day to
do something for yourself.
Take time before school or after school, but it MUST be every day! Again...set an appointment with yourself and draw thick dark boundaries around your time. You deserve to do something JUST FOR YOU every day!
Teacher self-care can be something so small and simple but it's something just for you! Start thinking about what you can do for yourself today. Let's get those Teacher Self-Care thoughts flowing...
Grab your favorite coffee drink
Make your favorite herbal tea
Meditate (use a meditation app)
Light candles when you get home
Listen to your favorite playlist
Go outside and get some fresh air
Wear an outfit that makes you happy
Find 3 things from the day for which you are grateful
Talk with someone you love (in person, on the phone or video chat)
Have dinner with someone you care about
Make dinner using your favorite foods
Change your clothes when you get home (make them super comfy!)
Write in a journal
Go for a walk
Read a book from your favorite genre
Spend time with your pet
Take up a new hobby
Book an appointment just for you (nails, hair, spa, massage...)
Create a self-care box (your favorite book, journal, candles, snacks, drinks, inspirational quotes, affirmation quotes...)
Start a Reflective Teacher Journal. Read more about starting a Reflective Teacher journal by clicking here.
Teachers may be underappreciated but I truly believe this world would not turn with teachers in it! I may be a little bit biased because I am a teacher and my husband is a teacher but we all know it's true! 😉😎
Do yourself a favor and click here to gain tips, tricks and strategies for becoming a more reflective teacher that will help you bring focus to your professional life so that you can meet the needs of your students.
Until next time...