Halfway There: Teacher Self-Care

February can be a challenge--whether you're enjoying this week off , or back to work after a three-day weekend, many teachers are at the halfway point of their school year. With about five months down and four to go, winter means more school-wide colds, with less daylight and fewer holiday breaks. A self-care plan for teachers and an awareness on the part of administration can make all the difference in re-energizing the educational environment. Check out some of the resources we've compiled to combat the winter blues.

For teachers

Create a Self-Care Plan to Beat the Winter Blues
"As the school year slows to a crawl through these dark, cold days of winter, it can be difficult to sustain the high energy required to accomplish the many daily tasks presented by our colleagues, our students, their parents, and the curriculum. Although it is wise to build daily practices in your life that give you a sense of wellness and fulfillment, it is especially important to do so when there may be little support to draw from others who, like you, may find themselves with fewer reserves. This is a good time of year to apply practices designed to help you take good care of yourself."

Setting Boundaries Can Mean a Happier Teacher Career
"Adults know logically that we have needs and lives, but at times, it's as if we are faulted for putting our lives first. We keep our doors open at lunch, we stay on the phone sometimes hours beyond the last bell, soothing parents or communicating with families about that which their student does not. Why? Because we love and care. But we as professionals must love and care about ourselves, as well."

12 Choices to Help You Step Back from Burnout
"A tired teacher is a powder keg waiting for a match. In my bouts with burnout, I've learned that stepping back from the brink is about choice. These 12 choices have helped me recover and be a better teacher for my students. In the long run, a burned out teacher is of no use to her students or herself. You can choose to step back. You can do this, teacher! Your calling is noble, but you must sometimes regroup and adjust to make it."

For administrators

10 Tips for Administrators to Help New Teachers Avoid Burnout
Time. No matter what administrators do or offer, they must invest in time for new teachers to prepare for the workload and also reflect on the experiences of each week. If there’s no formal time offered for reflection, teachers will not grow from the initial experiences and/or difficulties.

Support. Administrators should encourage a supportive work culture. This should include themselves team-teaching with new teachers. This relieves pressure, whilst also allowing for example to be shown, in-turn providing great professional development."

Why Introverted Teachers Are Burning Out "Business Review recently termed “collaborative overload” in the workplace. According to its own data, “over the past two decades, the time spent by managers and employees in collaborative activities has ballooned by 50% or more.” The difference for teachers in many cases is that they don’t get any down time; they finish various meetings with various adults and go straight to the classroom, where they feel increasing pressure to facilitate social learning activities and promote the current trend of collaborative education.

...K-12 campuses can meet the needs of teachers who are less extroverted, from 'providing professional development credit for personal learning' to simply offering them some options in regards to collaborative activities. Embracing ideas like these, schools could better accommodate the different personality types of their teachers; reduce burnout and save money on attrition; and foster an educational environment that encourages and cherishes introspective reflection within the students themselves."

Image attribution
Site: flickr.com [Image 1]