The end of summer brings many New School Year Resolutions. As teachers, we give so much of ourselves to our students. But let’s be honest, teacher burnout is real. I’d like to share my top five self-care tips for enhancing your school year.
1. Disconnect Daily
At the beginning of each school year, have a conversation with department colleagues about your preferred communication times and methods. Let them know you generally turn your phone off at 6pm to be with your family. Aim to check your work email at work and avoid logging into your work email on your personal cell phone.
2. Stay Late
But only one day a week. Use this one day to prep for the week ahead. Make all of your copies and get those lesson plans done. Heck, grade some papers. Just focus on taking care of your classroom needs. The point is, staying late should not be an everyday occurrence, pick one day a week to truly focus on getting your work done.
Believe it or not, exercising really does give you a boost of energy. I really didn’t believe it either, but it’s true. Getting enough exercise is tough for most teachers, especially during the beginning and end of the school year. With all of the decisions that teachers make on a daily basis, we are completely exhausted. All you can think about is your bed! And those papers aren’t going to grade themselves.
I suggest taking a couple days a week to get a workout in before you go home. Keeping a set of workout clothes and shoes in your trunk makes it easier to swing by the gym before dinner.
4. Non-Negotiable Bedtime
Too many teachers try to burn the midnight oil on a weekday. It is super important that teachers get adequate rest nightly. We are the keepers of the classroom community and it is important that we strive to be our best daily, that means getting rest. Set your bedtime and keep yourself from working at least 30 minutes prior to bed.
5. Make Time for Yourself
Finally, be sure to leave work at the end of your contractual time. Devote a minimum of one day a week to do something you like. Maybe you’ll go shopping or meet up with a friend. Whatever you love to do to refresh and recharge to be your best teacher self.
Balancing the workload of being an awesome teacher can be tough. I really hope my fellow teacher friends out there can adopt some self-care measures. Whatever you do, choose to do things that re-energize you, even if that means setting some limits.
This article was written by Jakeisha Gibson, a teacher who uses AdoptAClassroom.org. If you are a teacher, an experienced writer, and would like to write for our blog, please contact Communication Associate Devon Karbowski for more information at [email protected].
Jakeisha Gibson is a social justice educator who has been serving the students of South Los Angeles for the last 13 years. She is an advocate for STEM education and is currently crowdfunding to bring technology to her students. When she’s not teaching, you could probably find her roaming the streets of Disneyland.
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