Matthew R. Stover
Summer school and self-care
Updated: Jul 12, 2022
This is a call to action to take care of yourself
Educators choose to teach summer school for a variety of reasons. The extra money is helpful, perhaps you get anxious after two weeks of having nothing to do, or maybe your passion for educating the next generation is just too strong to resist.
A lot is on our plate, but we are no strangers to challenges. However, these challenges bring on difficult emotions such as exhaustion, stress, and frustration. We’ve heard it a thousand times and in a multitude of ways – take care, get some rest, don’t forget to relax – whatever phrase you’ve heard lately is actually a call to action and it’s time for you to do something about it.
Take a break. Your respite doesn’t have to be time consuming. For example, take a mindful minute with breathing exercises, listen to music that makes you feel good, turn off your electronics, stretch, color, eat a real meal, call a friend for a quick hello, watch something funny, or spend 10 minutes with your pets.
Start a gratitude journal. Gratitude in itself improves mental health, strengthens self-control, helps us reach career and life goals, and even provides lasting happiness. Starting a journal is easy, you can simply list multiple things you're grateful for each day or elaborate on one thing by providing three reasons why you’re grateful for it. *Bonus*...Doing this activity with students during a morning meeting improves critical thinking skills, writing, and classroom community.
Pay it forward and give thanks. Sharing something positive or giving compliments is a two-fold strategy for bringing calmness and a sense of joy to yourself and to others, ultimately improving your life. The best part yet is, kindness doesn’t cost anything and its impact on others is priceless.
It is entirely too common for teachers to put themselves on the back burner and sometimes we unintentionally forget to take care of ourselves. Let this be a reminder to make time to recharge!
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