5 Teacher Wellness Tips

Teachers work hard.  We spend hours before and after school, on the weekends and on our breaks planning, thinking, grading, revising, collecting, brainstorming and worrying about our jobs and our students.   I know how easy it is to feel overwhelmed, overworked and exhausted.  I know how easy it  is to look at social media and think that everyone's classroom / students / lessons are more impressive/better than yours.  I know that many of you have busy lives like me and are being pulled in many different directions. I know that it's easy to put everyone else before you.  BUT I also know that taking time for yourself, makes you more available and more present for others. I know that being present for yourself and your own needs makes you a better teacher / partner / parent / friend / person.  Here are my top 5 tips for maintaining your own teacher wellness.

If I don't put time for myself into my schedule I know how quickly my time can be eaten up.  We all have a myriad of obligations to attend to and you need to make yourself your own obligation. Yup... you need to include YOURSELF on your list of things to do!

Download this blank planning calendar HERE to schedule time into your day for yourself.

Here are some suggestions for things you can do for YOURSELF:
  • go for a walk
  • watch a movie
  • book a manicure / pedicure / massage (or all 3!)
  • visit a used book store and pick out some new reads
  • spend time with a friend or relative you haven't seen in a while
  • meditate / do yoga
  • craft / sew / paint / color... engage your artsy side
  • read a book purely for pleasure
  • take a long hot bath

We're all different and we all have different ways of relaxing and unwinding.  It might be a walk after work, a yoga session, a cup of tea after the kids have gone to bed,  a nap on the couch or binge watching a series on tv.... but the important thing is to know what works for you.  As a dog-mom I have to go for a walk every day after work - regardless of the weather.  But even in the rain and cold I'm grateful for the time.  Not only is it a chance to unwind and reflect on my day... but it's a chance to be by myself and enjoy the great outdoors.  After a day of constant chatter and a thousand questions from students I crave and need the quiet of an afternoon walk.  What do you need to do to recharge and refresh?

If you're anything like me you're an enthusiastic teacher and member of your school community and you're often asked (or "voluntold") to be a part of an activity or event.  I used to nod and smile and eagerly take on all that was asked of me.  I would be overwhelmed and overworked all in the name of "helping"... but I wasn't doing myself or anyone else any favours.  I had to start prioritizing what I was able to do and I had to start saying "no".  And guess what?  Other people jumped in and filled the roles I'd previously had and everything was fine!  And I was less stressed and had more time to devote to the things I really wanted to focus on - my own students, my family and myself.
We all need to have a teacher wellness buddy - the person you can turn to and share your frustrations with and someone to pull you through the tough times.  BUT... you also need to hold each other accountable for your own wellness.  Don't be afraid to hold each other accountable for your wellness goals! Help each other out and cheer each other on!  Go for walks together after school, share book suggestions, meet for coffee once a week to talk about things other than school (this can be sooo hard, but sooo refreshing!), workout at the gym together, go to a movie, share recipes for easy after school meals...

I love the online community that has been developed over the last few years - the amazing ideas I see on Instagram, the thoughtful and engaging blog posts, the articles I see shared on Facebook and the incredible resources available on TeachersPayTeachers.  There are so many unique and creative ways to save time!  We know longer have to reinvent the wheel!

If your students are all working on different novels for a Lit Circle or doing a class Novel Study check out my resource - Novel Study for ANY Novel .  It is "print and go" ~ everything you need is included.  I have had success with this resource from grades 6-10 as all activities are easy to differentiate!

Here are some of my favourite time savers from some of my favourite people - the ladies of the Secondary English Coffee Shop!  We've got your back when it comes to tips and tricks and resources to help you save time.

Editable Rubrics from Nouvelle ELA - such a great idea and an easy time-saver!
Presto Plans has an awesome Teacher Binder to keep you organized!
TheSuperHero Teacher has some incredible ideas in  Transform Your Classroom - A 20 Step Challenge for Teachers 
Stacey Lloyd has the most beautiful posters for quick and easy classroom decor.
The Classroom Sparrow's Mini-Books are print and go! Check out her punctuation book HERE.
Secondary Sara's Editing & Revising Kit is sure to be a time saver for you!

For more teacher time savers check out the following blog posts!
The Daring English Teacher - End of Year Teacher Timesavers for Secondary Teachers
Room 213 - Grade Student Responses Quickly

Happy Wellness!

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