Just yesterday, I gave much needed pep talks to three truly excellent teachers! What is up with that?
I know I can be critical of myself when it comes to teaching, and I know a lot of fellow teachers who are the same. Teaching is such an important job, and we hold so much power over our students... we can influence their self-esteem, their view of school/learning, social relationships, and so much more- it's important to try to get it right!
But lately I've been noticing that some of that pressure can easily grow into a big negative monster that makes you feel like a teeny-tiny terrible teacher.
With that in mind, here are a few ideas to keep in mind to help you keep a smile on, and practice self-care.
Keep a Growth Mindset!
Being critical can be a good thing, as long as you have a growth mindset!
As long as you are able to learn form your mistakes, and focus on the future. It's okay to have a bad day, or wish you'd handle a student situation differently, completely messed up how you wanted to explain something. We've all been there, but the key lies in being able to learn from your mistakes, and move on! Isn't that what we want our students to be doing?
Leave work-talk at work
Try it for a week. When you come home from school, and your loved one asks about your day, keep it to a minimum. 'It went alright, but I'm tired now" is fine- in fact, that's much better than going into a 20-minute rant on the trouble-maker who stirred the pot, and the work gossip you hate and blah blah blah. By leaving work talk at work, you'll be better able to disconnect from school, and focus on your home life- which will make you a more pleasant person, both at school, and at home!
Do what you love!
Even if you only have 30 minutes between coming home from school and starting on dinner prep, make it 30 minutes just for you. I know it can be hard to find 30 minutes for yourself- I find myself doing a lot of running around between teaching, commuting, grad classes, cleaning, and cooking and everything else.
No matter how busy I am, I know that self-care is so important to mental and physical health, so I make time. It's not selfish to need time to recharge your battery, it's essential. Self-care is something you do that you enjoy, for yourself.
For me, that includes crafting, gardening, baking, and reading for pleasure (although with grad school right now, reading for pleasure seems to be a vacation only activity). If the weather's right, I love to go for a run, or a walk around my neighborhood. Watching TV doesn't cut it as self-care in my book and this is why: it's a passive activity. It's not giving me anything back. You can do anything you want for self-care, as long as it's just for you, and leaves you feeling happier!
My name is