Brianne Gidcumb | January 2016
Happy Teachers, Happy Students
It’s the time of year for New Year’s Resolutions. For many of us, we start out January with the best of intentions, with sweeping change on our minds and in our hearts. But as the routine of daily life wears us down, those resolutions become a little harder to maintain.
For educators, this is especially true. Teaching is not just a job, not just a career, but a lifestyle, a way of life. It is something that consumes most of our waking moments (and some of our unconscious moments too!), and in our best efforts to be there for our students, we allow ourselves to be sacrificed in any number of ways: physically, mentally, and emotionally.
It is imperative, my dear friends, to remember that YOU are the greatest asset to your classroom and to your students. You are responsible for facilitating your students’ growth and learning: it is an awesome privilege and responsibility. And if you don’t protect the asset (YOU), your students will be impacted as well. It is not only okay to take care of yourself- it is necessary!
Today, I’d like to share with you a trick I have used personally to ensure that I hold myself accountable to taking care of myself each day. This system, rather than sweeping, year-long change, allows me to focus on one day at a time. And I’d like for you to join me in the challenge to set daily goals and reduce teacher stress in the three following categories and be a happy teacher.
1. Maintain the Asset
Care for your physical self. Your health (wellness, fitness, diet, sleeping habits, etc). is essential to keeping up the pace and stamina it takes to be a teacher!
2. Reduce your Stress
Infuse moments of peace into your day. To say that teaching can be stressful is an understatement! It takes a conscious effort to find strategies to relieve stress, but once you find what works for you, your physical health (#1) will improve as well as your joy (#3).
3. Increase Your Joy
Actively engage in and promote your own happiness. Make finding moments of joy a priority, and relish those moments that occur organically. In addition to finding your own joy and learning how to be a happy teacher, make an effort to spread joy to others.
Check out the menu below for ideas for daily resolutions in each category. Add to, edit, and/or create your own menu. Additionally, check out the FREE downloadable Happy Teacher, Happy Students Worksheet that will help you set your daily goals and reduce teacher stress!
Maintain the Asset To Become A Happy Teacher
- Take advantage of your health benefits.
- Eat clean.
- Register for a 5k.
- Go for a walk during your lunch break.
- Reduce the amount of sugar in your diet.
- Take a fitness class.
- Keep a regular daily schedule, including bedtime.
- Eat a healthy snack during your breaks.
- Find a workout buddy.
- Try a new healthy recipe.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Walk your dog.
Reduce Your Stress
- Do a 10-minute guided meditation.
- Learn to say no.
- Clean out your desk drawers.
- Turn off your work email at home.
- Make a plan to get out of debt
- Spend less time on social media.
- Get a massage.
- Listen to peaceful music.
- Use essential oils for relaxation.
- Take a yoga class.
- Talk to a therapist.
- Do a crossword puzzle.
- Develop a mantra.
- Go on a 5-minute cleaning/organization spurt.
Increase Your Joy
- Incorporate random acts of kindness into your day.
- Read a self-help book.
- Avoid toxic conversations (the teacher’s lounge can be a hotbed of toxic conversation!).
- Carve out some time for a hobby.
- Follow a new blog.
- Send an encouraging note to a friend, family member, or coworker.
- Go to a museum.
- Schedule a phone date with a family member or friend.
- Go to the theater.
- Make a gratitude list.
- Plan a trip.
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