I believe this might very well be one of the first years where teachers enter the school year tired, weary, and burned out. The last third of the 2019-2020 school year included educational, medical, and societal challenges that none of us have seen before. Through the summer, educators have been gearing up for back to school that may include social distancing, online learning or both. I can assure you teachers are thinking, planning, preparing, and worrying about the first days of school. For this reason, I am advocating for a strong self-care initiative for teachers, either created individually for yourself or developed by a school building or district.
To assist with your self-care plan, I’ve curated six of my favorite videos and added a sprinkling of other resources as well. It is my sincere hope that you will find strategies, inspiration, and hope as you view the videos and consider the content for your self-care plan.
On gratitude and happiness (powerful stuff)! The Gratitude Experiment
Did you accept the challenge? How did your level of happiness change after completing the gratitude experiment? How could you use this with your colleagues, students, or friends?
On encouraging yourself! If I Knew Then: A Letter to Me on My First Day Teaching
“You’re gonna make it through this,” one of those teachers said. It was true your first year, and it is true now. You have the resilience, power, skills, and will to get through this. And not only are you going to get through it, but you can THRIVE. One additional strategy that can be helpful as you work your way toward thriving in the classroom is mindfulness.
On vulnerability…we love Dr. Brene Brown. The Power of Vulnerability
“The people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging,” Dr. Brown explains. You, as an educator, as an individual, as a human being, are worthy of love and belonging. Feeling love and belonging can decrease the likelihood of teacher burnout and increase resilience. Connection works. Reach out to a colleague, chat with a friend, or have a coffee with your sibling. Connect, because you are worthy.
On joy 😊. Where Joy Hides and How to Find It
Is there a way to use color, abundance, or curves to add moments of joy to your life, your classroom, your school, or your community? Where do your students find joy? How can you model joy for your learners?
On tired teachers. Teaching is Tiring (and Worth It)!
Even if you are tired, it is “worth it.” What makes being tired “worth it” for you? Write these things down, and put them in your “bad day file,” so you can reread them as a reminder of why you became a teacher. It will re-energize you and wake you up.
On mantras! Back to School Mantra
This mantra was probably meant for students, but teachers can create their own mantras, too! Take a moment to think about what you would want your mantra to be. Consider sharing your mantra with your teaching team.