4 fun ways principals can boost teacher self-care

Teachers are very giving people. I read an article the other day that said educators have the most unpaid overtime of any job in the world. And it’s true: We get here at 6:30 in the morning, and most of us leave at 6:30 in the evening. We give so much of ourselves to our students.

Everything we do in schools is aimed at benefitting students, but honestly, if teachers can’t be their best selves, be healthy, and practice self-care, then we can’t expect them to be the best teachers they can be. As we move into the stressful period before testing and the end of the year, I always tell them to remember the safety demonstration that flight attendants do on airplanes: If something goes wrong, you put your own oxygen mask on first, and then put it on your children.

4 ways to boost teacher self-care

1. Word of the Year…Read More

One way to manage stress: Focus on self-care

[Editor’s note: This is the 11th installment in Jennifer Abrams’ ‘Personal Development’ column for eSchool News. In her columns, Abrams focuses on leadership skills for anyone working in a school or district. Read more about the column here.]  

In 1995, Robert Kegan, now emeritus professor at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, wrote a book entitled In Over Our Heads: The Mental Demands of Modern Life. He asked—given all the complexity surrounding us—if we had what it takes to live healthy and successful lives. Since then we have seen a plethora of books trying to help us work through the personal and global challenges we face on a day-to-day basis. Jennifer Garvey Berger and Keith Johnston wrote Simple Habits for Complex Times: Powerful Practices for Leaders, Elena Aguilar just published Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience for Educators, and Laura van Dernoot Lipsky is coming out with The Age of Overwhelm: Strategies for the Long Haul.

In addition to supporting ourselves, we as educators also learn more to support students. We are more trauma informed with Debbie Zacarian’s Teaching to Strengths: Supporting Students Living with Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress, and gritty with Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. These two texts are the start of the booklist that one can access to help students with their social and emotional development. With all the challenges we face in today’s world, we need to prioritize our own emotional and psychological well-being too.…Read More