Looking back (way back) to when I was a first-year teacher, I should have listened to the advice that veteran teachers gave me coming into the holiday season.
Back then, I was a twenty-something single woman with no children—well, except for my 32 seven- and eight-year-olds in my Los Angeles classroom. Essentially, my world revolved around my classroom. But when November came around, I would always count the days, hours, and minutes until Winter Break. I looked forward to sleeping-in, going to the bathroom whenever I had the urge (instead of waiting for the bell to ring), and nights without any homework to review or lessons to plan.
The plan of self-indulgence was usually good until day 3. Alas, entering the third day of the holiday break, I would retreat back into my workaholic lifestyle—spending the rest of my break planning lessons, shopping for discounted school supplies, and working on my first-year teaching portfolio required for my credential.
By the time school started again in January, rather than feeling energized, I felt stressed and anxious to begin the cycle all over again. Like most teachers, my first year of teaching was extremely challenging and there were times I felt like quitting. And in fact, many others actually do: “more than 41% of teachers leave the profession within just 5 years of teaching.”
Don’t let that happen to you! If you’re a teacher who’s feeling burnt out, there are some steps you can take to alleviate some of the stress. For a quick solution on getting rid of stress search for kratom effects a natural drug that can easily help you. I would like to share some words of wisdom that I gathered from various educators, many of whom are former or veteran teachers:
- “Go hiking to re-energize your immune system and sleep in as much as possible! That means 10:00 a.m.” – Daniel Padilla, San Ysidiro School District
- “If you have to work, I would say to limit the amount of work that you do over the break (give yourself a set number of hours). Get outside as much as possible.”- Tim Cariss, Chico Unified School District
- “Doing arts and crafts relaxes me and allows me to be creative.” – Milly Estrada, Pittsburg Unified School District
- “When you travel, don’t bring work or a computer with you.” – Jennifer Kalis, Metro Nashville Public Schools”
- “If holiday family time is intense, make sure to take 10-15 minute walks to “take out the trash” or time in your room to read to reset each day.” – Kelly Knoche, The Teaching Well
- “If you are a parent, try to find some time just for yourself.” – Julie Ziegler, Oakland Unified School District
Self-care is a win for you and your students. If you take care of yourself, you will be happier as well as a more effective teacher to your students. In closing, I would like to leave you with the sage words from Kelly Knoche of The Teaching Well:
“(Self-care) is about being the most effective care-givers and members of society we can possibly be. It is about celebrating the wins of our students and watching the whole family come through a school. It is about the joy working for youth buoying your efforts in spite of a low salary or challenges that many of our districts and schools face. It is about building the resilience to stay on the front line and make a difference.”
If you’d like additional resources/articles on how to maintain a good work-life balance and self-care tips, check out the following links:
- Fall, Reflections, and Smell Goods for Stress Relief
- Recharge and Avoid Burnout: Tips for Mindful (but Busy!) Teachers
- Top 10 tips on how teachers can improve their work-life balance
- The Oasis Within: Mindfulness Practice for Teachers
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