As educators, we spend our time and energy providing for the needs of our students. Many times our efforts come at the expense of our own well-being. During our school day, week, and year, we need to build and rebuild our emotional energy to be most effective. In her book Engage the Brain: How to Design for Learning That Taps Into the Power of Emotion, author Allison Posey recommends the following to rejuvenate us (pp. 145-152):
- Relax. It’s okay to take time for yourself during your workday. When the students head to recess or to a special class, take five minutes for yourself. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and let the stresses go, even if just for a few minutes.
- Eat lunch. Go to your staff room and have lunch with other adults in the building. The break from your room and the interaction you have with others can restore some energy.
- Collaborate. Work with other teachers on your projects. Seek help from others when you need it.
- Do something silly. When with the teachers or students, break the monotony with something unexpected and fun.
- Laugh. Find and tell school-appropriate jokes to your class or your colleagues.
In addition to the suggestions from the book, I would recommend you do your best to remind yourself regularly that you have the greatest job in the world. You get to connect with students and make a significant positive impact on their lives. That makes you someone very special!!