5 Essential Needs to Teacher Renewal
Already counting down to the last day of the school year?
Living for summer break and the relief it offers?
Spring break already a distant memory?
Have only one goal left…survival?
Sounds like you are all teachered out…
You started the school year with lots of enthusiasm and dreams of all you would accomplish–the difference you were going to make in your students’ lives. But teaching is an exhausting job that drains your energy cup pretty quickly. If you aren’t refilling it you will find yourself depleted and barely surviving.
There are a couple of reasons why this happens:
- we equate caring for our own needs to being selfish
- we erroneously believe that we don’t have time (this is actually a boundary issue and a priority issue not a time issue)
- we expect others to just know that we need a break and rescue us without our asking
Here’s the bottom line:
You can’t share energy that you don’t have and no one is going to rescue you.
It’s up to you.
When it comes to taking care of ourselves, most of us equate that with the shadow comforts. I had a tough day at school so I will skip the gym and treat myself to pizza and cupcakes for dinner while I veg out on the couch. Taking a bubble bath or going on a shopping spree is not going to change your life or awaken your inner soul. Ultimately things we do to indulge and comfort ourselves drain us even more. Here’s how to refill your energy cup and get back on track to thriving, not just surviving.
5 Essential Needs to Renewal
1. Take care of your body
Start with the basics. Make sure that you are getting adequate exercise, eating a healthy diet and getting the required number of hours of sleep. Cutting corners because of a heavy workload eventually results in losing momentum and energy. You may even wind up sick and forced to take the time to get well.
2. Take care of your environment
This is not actually about recycle and reuse, although I believe in that. This is about maintaining an environment in the classroom and at home where you are organized and manage the clutter that naturally accumulates in a busy lifestyle. Managing the details of your life will mean that you naturally feel better and calmer when your environment is set up to create energy rather than block energy. Create systems and follow them regularly.
3. Take care of your relationships
Take the time to relax and enjoy your family and friends. Step off the to-do-treadmill and create moments of connection and memories of love. Create boundaries around your work and your relationships that encourage positive growth.
4. Take care of your self-development
Was the last class you took a required in-service where you sat in the back of the room and graded papers? Cells that are not expanding aren’t stagnant, they are actually dying and this is true for our brain cells as well. Take the class you’ve always wanted to take, read the books you wanted to read and expand your mind. It will impact your teaching in a positive way.
5. Take care of your spirit
There is no better way to refill your energy cup than through realigning your spirit with your beliefs. You do this through prayer, meditation, inspirational reading, reflection, gratitude or worship. Pause and enjoy the beauty of the world around you as you reconnect with it’s creator. In the process, you just might be re-energized with your purpose and destiny.