- Teachers recharge over the summer and before you know it, the school year is here.
- Although the school year can bring anticipation and excitement, it can also bring the loss of self-care.
- Help your teachers find ways to maintain self-care all year long by developing a plan.
Keeping the Summer Stride
“A little bit of summer is what the whole year is all about.” – John Mayer
Summer is oh so good for the soul. It brings a time of rest, reflection, and lots of recreation! It offers educators the time to replenish their stores of mental, emotional, and physical energy. Yet, as summer slowly comes to a close, teachers leave behind the recovery of summer and begin to worry about the upcoming school year. Will they have everything ready in time? How will they set up their room? What will their students be like? The mind begins to race as teachers move into the full force of planning the next educational season.Teachers must find moments of pause, times to refresh, and occasions to indulge all year long. Click To Tweet
For some, it is a high of anticipation and excitement. For others, it is a fight between anxiety and enthusiasm. Either way, adrenaline is rushing and emotions are heightened. As a coach, I watch teachers move fast and furious throughout the building, preparing their classrooms, writing their lesson plans, and making their copies. With joy, they add all the small touches that make their spaces unique and their classroom a home.
Then the school year begins, and the bustle starts! Everyone is moving and grooving. Going, going, going like the Energizer Bunny! But when do they stop? When do they come up for air? Have they forgotten the summer stride? This is where we, as instructional leaders, can step up to the plate. Self-care is not isolated in the summer season but is something needed all year long.
Maintaining a Bit of Summer
As Henry David Thoreau once stated, “One must maintain a little bit of summer, even in the middle of winter.” Teachers must find moments of pause, times to refresh, and occasions to indulge all year long. So, how can we support our teachers with implementing self-care throughout the school year? How can we motivate them to hold fast to the summer stride rather than overexertion of work? Help them make self-care plans!
Start by taking the time at the beginning of the school year to check in with each teacher. Ask them questions about their summer.
- What made you feel your best this summer?
- What activities did you do for rest, enjoyment, fulfillment, peace, fun?
Have them reflect on how these experiences could be embedded throughout the school year to bring balance to their home-work life.
- What goals could they set to create balance?
- What activities could they commit to? How often? For how long?
- Who could support them with these goals?
- What might be your biggest challenges in accomplishing these goals?
Support them in drafting a plan that they can commit to.
Then use this plan to check in on them. Remind them of their self-care goals when they are feeling the stress of school.
Promote conversations about self-care at the beginning of meetings. Take the first few minutes to open dialogue and invite teachers to share ways they have found work-life balance. Share your self-care goals and your progress as well! Building a culture around self-care will encourage educators to indulge in it. They will see the purpose and understand it is ok to take time for themselves.
Self-care is not selfish, it is survival.
About Ashley Hubner
Ashley Hubner is an Educational Consultant in Sarasota County, Florida. With 14+ years in education, Ashley has served as an elementary school teacher, math interventionist, instructional coach, social studies curriculum lead, virtual coach, and private sector curriculum designer.
Ashley uses professional development, instructional coaching and curriculum design to support teachers and instructional leaders in developing purposeful, intentional learning experiences for children. She is dedicated to impacting student growth by building capacity within teachers and their instructional effectiveness.
Ashley specializes in elementary literacy and mathematics, integrated curriculums, and classroom management utilizing instructional best practices, relationships, and classroom culture.