Brigitte Scott & Laura Basili
This blog is dedicated to all of our teacher friends and colleagues who dedicate your love and commitment to our profession.
The Importance of Self-Care
Teachers are known for teaching strategies and positive behavior tools to help students regulate their social-emotional learning, but no one has brought up what teachers are doing to support their emotional health. It raises the following questions: How do you manage your self-care, and what are your self-care practices?
Among the challenges facing the classroom are teacher retirements at record highs, burnout, teacher shortages, and politics invading the learning environment.
According to research done by the National Education Association, most teachers report pandemic-related stress as a serious problem for educators and say feeling burned out is a serious problem.
Coping in the Post-Pandemic Classroom
“Returning to Normal” is a catch-phrase we have been hearing a lot lately and seems to be the next challenge we face. It’s a global concern as the world tries to cope and move forward. Some are beginning to question what defines normal? It seems to be more of an approach to finding balance rather than returning to what was. The virtual classroom brought about many new challenges in learning. It also demonstrated the resilience and ability of teachers to adapt and step up in the most courageous ways to continue to educate our children. Teachers were on 24 hours, and that’s not an exaggeration. When virtual school was finished, emails, reports, online training, and professional development were expected on top of learning how to zoom, create Bitmoji lessons, and monitor google classrooms.
All that remained was exhaustion…
“A good teacher is like a candle – it consumes itself to light the way for others.” – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Building Your Self-Care Toolkit
So how do you practice self-care when you are too exhausted to do so? Baby steps — one tiny step at a time. Remember the “Put Your Oxygen Mask on First” story? It is the same principle. Think of your self-care as an oxygen mask. The reality is that you cannot continue to give of yourself and help others if you don’t help yourself first. It can be as simple as just finding a quiet place to sit in your home, turning off the volume on your phone, and just sitting there and doing nothing. Yeah, your mind may get flooded with the thoughts of the day. That’s okay, let them flow right through breathing through it while thinking of something that makes you happy. This is your time.
Some gentle reminders…
- Take a Moment to Breathe
- Listen Carefully
- Ground Yourself
- Use your sense of smell
- Try a change of scenery
- Walk mindfully
Brigitte and I, who are friends and colleagues have collaborated to do the work for you. Below you will find some tips and resources to help you create your teacher self-care toolkit. Please keep in mind these are suggestions to help you discover what works best for you.
Teachers light up our students and in turn light up the world. Self-care is the greatest gift you can give to yourself and to keep your light within burning brightly.
Brigitte & Laura
Tips and Resources For Teachers:
7 Ways to Sneak Mindfulness into your teaching day
Put on Your Oxygen Mask First
Twisted Sistas RAP Teacher Self-Care Podcast