Mental well-being is of paramount importance for educators, as teachers face multifaceted demands, ensuring students learn well and are cared for, allowing parents to understand what their children are going through, alongside administration, marking and co-curricular activities. With Covid-19, teachers have been kept on their toes to adapt to online teaching, at the same time, making sure exams and assessment continue to run like clockwork.
Here at Learner Net, we understand that balancing the daily demands of teaching with limited resources on hand can be very stressful for teachers. To all teachers out there, here are 8 ways you can take care of yourself, support each other and prevent burnout:-
1. Compartmentalise and organise your teaching resources.
Start building up teaching resources for your different subjects from Day One. Teacher Daniel from Learner Net, who has taught at secondary schools for 16 years, finds this approach very helpful, to compile exam papers, resources from colleagues and workshops attended, as well as online resources.
“Having my resources organised definitely helped me to reduce my stress for lesson preparation and lesson observations by my supervisors. Eventually you can expand your files and make sub-categories,” Teacher Daniel recalled.
2. Talk to other teachers.
Speak with any other teacher who is willing to share and advise on classroom management, teaching pedagogies, and general well-being. Some experienced teachers will be very willing to share their tips accumulated over many years. Being familiar with what one another is going through helps teachers to bond and provide support.
3. Exercise and unwind through your hobbies.
Teacher Daniel makes it a point to exercise amidst a busy schedule, with jogging being “a fantastic way to release stress”. Besides unwinding through exercise, Teacher Daniel is also driven by the desire to learn new things such as pursuing certifications in photography, videography and digital media design.
“I get to take my mind off work and focus on something I enjoy for leisure,” Teacher Daniel said about his hobbies. It is important to make time during the school year to do something you enjoy. Do not just wait for the vacation period.
4. Have frequent breaks besides holidays.
Many teachers skip lunch or take little breaks. Proper meals and frequent breaks are essential for self-care for educators. Nourish your body and mind even when you have a busy schedule. Have frequent downtime to recharge yourself without any distractions or attempts to multitask.
5. Keep what brings you joy near.
Do not lose sight of what makes you happy or motivates you each day. You can even put a cartoon motivational quote on your desk to keep you going through the difficult times. If your family and friends are your greatest source of support and inspiration, keep a photo of them nearby, so you can look at the photos whenever you need a boost!
6. Focus on what is within your control.
As a teacher, it is important to pick your battles. Politely decline requests and projects if you have too much on your plate. Apologise when you are in the wrong and move on from lessons learnt from mistakes made.
Seeing too much inequality from home-based learning during this pandemic period? Refer students in need to schemes in and outside the school. Focus on making their learning experience with you in the classroom a memorable and enriching one.
7. Accept change and adjust to new situations.
Teachers undergo change all the time, from new curriculums to new leadership and team members. Managing your emotions and expectations for adjusting to changes is crucial. In periods of changes and transitions, keep an eye on your mental health and look out for your colleagues if you can.
8. Acknowledge that you are a good teacher with a meaningful job.
Remember and be grateful that you have a job which allows you to Inspire lives and disseminate knowledge. Know that you cannot please everyone all the time, simply because there are too many stakeholders that a teacher deals with. At the end of the day, you know that you have done your best according to your priorities.
As a community of learners and educators, Learner Net believes in self-care and development for all educators! Our tutor community comes from around the world, united by a common purpose to help children and youth, and even our adult learners, access knowledge and the skills for a better tomorrow.
Check out our Public Forum for discussions on different levels and subjects or our Free Resources featuring test papers.
At Learner Net, we also believe in improving access to education and enrichment for underprivileged students. LN Cares is our latest initiative to connect tutors who want to reach out to underprivileged students through our social services partnerships.
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