Each year at this back-to-school season, we teachers feel filled with anticipation, motivation, hopes, and some nerves. I don’t know a single teacher – no matter how veteran – who doesn’t still have a bit of anxiety going back to school. And I think part of the anxiety is because we want to get better and better every single year. We raise the bar for ourselves with each new school year! So…How can you set yourself up to have your best school year yet? [Read more…]
Teaching seems to always be synonymous with Busy. And Busy’s crazy cousins Stressed and Overwhelmed seem to never be too far behind either.
Enter Survival Mode where Busy, Stress, and Overwhelmed climb into the driver’s seat of life and we’re left hanging on to the bumper for dear life.
So – how do you get OUT of survival mode? Better yet – how do you stay out of survival mode by never going into survival mode?
When stressed, many people clean. They say that they simply cannot “think” when their classroom, kitchen, bedroom etc. is a mess. It’s no mystery why – a cluttered physical environment equals a cluttered mind. Wholehearted teachers take care to cultivate a peaceful environment both at home and at school so that they can feel more peaceful during their busy week. At this point, you are probably thinking “Sure, Alison. Sounds great. but HOW?! I mean, it’s not like I TRY to live in clutter – it just finds ME!” I get it. Let’s tackle this.
I admit that I am an unabashed lover of all things sweet!! Oh – and salty! Oh – and carby!! (sigh) The truth is – my love affair with unhealthy food makes me struggle with the other elements of a wholehearted life. When things are unbalanced, when I’m not taking time for myself, when my environment is cluttered or I feel isolated, sometimes I turn to food. And the teacher’s lounge is the biggest pitfall, right?! I know I’m not alone here… [Read more…]
As a science/STEM teacher by day, I have had the opportunity to learn a lot about sustainability. Sustainability is often talked about with regard to the environment and natural resources. Sustainability of natural resources means we don’t consume more than can be regenerated – we use practices and products that are capable of being maintained and sustained.
The word sustainability, as defined by Merriam-Webster, means “1. Capable of being sustained. 2 a: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged”.
So I ask you: If you continue with your schedule like it is today – are you capable of being sustained? Were your personal resources (physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, etc.) used in ways that won’t lead to permanent depletion or damage?
Cultivating self-care as a teacher is similar to cultivating other sustainable practices – it takes choice, intention, and commitment. And it yields fruitful results. [Read more…]
We are starting this series on habits of wholehearted teachers with a biggie – cultivating work-life balance as a teacher. This topic ranges in teachers mind from as illusive as a unicorn to as offensive as a curse word. Seriously! I know teachers who have such guilt over creating work-life balance you’d think they were committing a crime! Others want it, but think it’s impossible – like a fantasy.
But trust me – it’s not impossible, and it doesn’t mean you are a bad (or half-hearted) teacher. On the contrary – it makes you MORE wholehearted when you can maintain balance in your life free from guilt! [Read more…]
Picture a wholehearted teacher. What is the vision you have? What does that teacher do? What are her (or his) habits?
There are some very clear and consistent habits of teachers who have developed a wholehearted life. This post outlines the top 10 habits of wholehearted teachers. In my upcoming posts, I’m going to go into each habit in detail so that we can all start the school year with a more intentional effort around these ten habits. [Read more…]