Being a teacher is no easy task. A supervisor once told me, “Your kids should go home more tired than you.” When she first told me, I have to admit; I chuckled on the inside. I thought, “Ok, right, like that is going to happen.” However, I learned she's right. We need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves. How, you might ask? Follow these excellent teacher wellness tips.
Tip 1: Give Your Students Ownership of Organization
One part of teaching that can cause anyone stress is classroom management. A crazy classroom can take any day and make it ten times worse. As a coach, when I see classroom management issues, it's because students haven't had to take responsibility for the classroom's organization and procedures.
Having a specific place for your students to put art supplies, STEM materials, and backpacks can make your room cleaner and more organized. You should also make sure your students know exactly where to turn in work. Keeping your classroom organized will take a tiny bit of stress off your shoulders, contributing to teacher wellness.
Tip 2: Get Teacher Wellness with Simpler Plans
When you sit down to lesson planning, how long does it take? It can take hours and hours for some of us because we want to make sure everything is perfect and well prepared. While being prepared is essential, so is overall teacher wellness. When you spend too much time on lesson planning, you miss out on family time and an appropriate amount of sleep, causing problems with sleepiness, irritability, brain fog, and more!
You want to make your lesson plans clear, but you don't need to add everything to your lesson plan. Having the basics of what you are doing and your standards is perfectly acceptable.
If your district requires more detail in your lessons, find ways to take less time. For example, you can try to share responsibility with a team member for lesson plan writing. You can also create a simple template that can be copy and pasted every week. Instead of typing everything out on your lesson plans, you can include links to videos and activities you are using.
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Tip 3: Fuel Your Body
Teacher wellness starts from within. You need to make sure you are deciding to fuel your body with good energy. While coffee and energy drinks might be the first thing you think of, refined sugars are only a temporary fix. Besides, consuming too many sugary beverages can damage your teeth, cause weight gain, and create unhealthier habits.
Instead, keep fruit in your classroom or items with natural sugars to help give you that boost in the middle of the day. You can also do what I do and try my thermogenic tea. It only has 25 calories with no sugars. With this tea, you burn 100 calories just by drinking. The tea is packed with antioxidants and provides a good feeling of healthy energy.
Tip 4: Accept Help for Better Teacher Wellness
There are times when we think we need to do it all ourselves. When people offer assistance, you should take it! If that means your teacher friend will help with plans or take an extra duty, take the help! Everyone deserves a little break here and there, and you can pay it forward.
If you need more time because planning is taking you too long, you can always utilize Teachers Pay Teachers. When you use the resources on TpT, you're helping out fellow teachers and making your life so much easier because you won't have to reinvent the wheel. In addition, you can find almost anything on this fantastic website!
Tip 5: Find Teacher Wellness Where the Heart Is
As teachers, we work, work, and then we work some more. It's crucial to remember that your work is never done. Make sure you go home and enjoy being with your family. Whether you're at work or home, your family is growing and changing, and you'll never get that time back. So, take the time for you and your family. The work will be there in the morning. Take it from me; your babies grow up in a blink of an eye.
Finding ways to incorporate teacher wellness is never easy. However, it's important, especially in the world we currently live in. So, create boundaries, get your classroom friendly and organized, and take time for you. Most importantly, be well.