Be The Best Educator You Can Be By Being Your Best Self
The Educational field is demanding. The hours are long, the job is complex and it can be a drain. As educators, we are in constant service of others and at times we can neglect ourselves in order to provide for others. At our core, we want to help others. We love our students and will do anything for them. As more and more students come to school with trauma-impacted backgrounds, the toll our job can take on us increases.
Think of yourself as a water well, supplying water for an entire farm. The water you give is a very important resource and has a huge impact on the community. Now envision the well running dry and having no more water to give. What happens to the community then? The results are catastrophic. The same holds true of educators. If you do not take care of yourself, you will not be able to serve your students. We cannot afford to have our educators running themselves “dry”.
When you are your best self, you will be the best for your students. When you are down, your students notice. When you are disengaged, frustrated, low on energy, sick or just plain tired, it will manifest in the classroom. However, when you are excited and engaged your students notice. As an educator, your attitude and energy are infectious. Bringing your A game every day is difficult, but worth it. You must take care of yourself in order to be the best educator you can be. Do not let your well run dry. As the end of school year approaches, keep a few things in mind.
Rediscover your Mojo
After a long school year, summative testing, grading, etc., an educator can become bogged down trying hard to cover that last minute content or check all the required boxes before summer is upon us. Take some time and plan something that gets you as the teacher excited. Plan a fun and exciting project, break out a favorite lesson and get that mojo back. It not only will feed you, but your students will notice and it will serve them too.
Enjoy Your Students
Our goal is to support students as they grow and that inevitably results in growing up and moving on. Students move to the next grade, the next school and eventually adulthood. We only have so much time with each group. Make these last days meaningful and enjoy them as they are, before they move on. This will serve you and the students as you are all gearing up for the impending transition. They will miss you (even the naughty ones).
To rejuvenate means to make someone or something feel fresh and lively. It means to restore to a condition characteristic of a younger landscape. That is what educators need to do on a regular basis. We need to restore ourselves in order to tackle the new school year to come. Read a good book, sit in the sun, organize, take a vacation, study a new technique, plan your upcoming year, whatever it takes to fill your bucket.
Remember Self Care
This is so important. Please, please take care of yourself! Take sick days even though it is hard. Eat well, even when times are stressful. Make time to be active. Meet with friends for coffee. Enjoy a night out, or a hot bath, or a good Netflix binge. Even though the papers are not graded or the plans are not perfect, self-care is just as important to a high functioning classroom, if not more important!
Not only will a good plan alleviate stress, but it can also help to keep our jobs from overwhelming us. As the summer approaches balance your rejuvenating, self-care with any learning and planning that can help make your next school year run smoother. A great benefit of education is there is a clean slate every year. We are able to start fresh and learn from previous years to improve our craft. Take those lessons into account during your planning. Take a stressful aspect of the previous school year and create a plan to make it better.
In all of my years in education, I have come to believe that self-care is the best care. CLICK HERE to download a staff activity that will inspire your staff to engage in this important process. Taking care of ourselves helps us to be the best for our students.
Have a great rest of the school year and a great summer ahead… You deserve it!
Instructional Coach, TEEN TRUTH