Teachers all over the world have created learning experiences for their students (& parents) to do at home.
Whether it's in the classroom, all digital or packets to work on at home, teachers have stepped up and shown the world they are...
A. BIG. DEAL!
Not only are you showing the world that you can take very little time and very limited resources to create learning experiences for your students, but you are showing the whole world what an indispensable resource teachers actually are!
Now, let's be real! All the above is true, but...
The whole world doesn't see that you are working overtime in stress stricken mode with limited resources and worried about how you're going to meet the needs of every one of your students academically, socially and emotionally.
That weight can take a toll on whoever is doing that work.
The world doesn't see the sacrifices you are making behind the scenes.
The world doesn't see the emotional torment you are feeling by not seeing your students every day.
The world doesn't see the amount of time you spend each day making sure that each of your students does not fall behind.
The world doesn't see that you put your children's needs before your own.
Teachers must practice self-care!
Take it from a teacher that learned the hard way. Long story short...I put everyone's needs before my own. I had a full-time classroom. I taught a night class 2 nights a week. I provided professional development for teachers in my district and other districts. OH...and I have a husband and two children (who were very young at that time)
Reflective Thinking IS Self-Care
It's so important to take at least 10-15 minutes each day and reflect on your day!
Think about the highs and lows of your day. Focus on the highs to feed your soul but don't overlook the lows. They won't go away even if you try to bury them. Every classroom full of students has highs. They might be small but the smallest positive could have the biggest impact.
Find at least ONE thing each day for which you are grateful. There are specific reasons why you chose to become an educator. Teaching is a hard job. Well, it's not just a job, it's more of a calling. Some days are tough and filled with challenges but there is ALWAYS something for which to be grateful.
Think about what worked and what needs some improvement. When you look back over the day through an open and honest lens you will see what worked really well and what didn't. What parts of the day had the biggest positive impact on your students. Build on that! You also have to be open and honest about what did not work and why.
Decide your actions for the next day. When you are able to focus on the strengths and areas of improvement at the end of each school day, you will be able to decide the actions you need to take with your students or during a particular lesson. Maybe it wasn't with your students. Maybe you have to decide your actions the next day for working with a difficult teammate. Maybe it's an action you need to take to draw thicker boundaries between your work and home life.
AND...most importantly, determine how you will reward yourself EVERY DAY! You deserve something every day. It can be so simple, but it's necessary. You must do something every day to 'feed your soul'. The work will still be there when you return! Make time for yourself!
Now is the perfect time to be reflective about your teaching life, your teaching style, and your teaching craft.
Now is the perfect time to take charge of your self-care and find direction on your teaching path. It's time to rediscover your WHY!
Until next time...