I don’t know about you–but the first month of school is one of the most challenging times of the year. It’s not about the kids either. For me it’s the room decor, lesson planning, calendaring, schedule making, shopping, cleaning and all of the organizational tasks that sometimes get me overwhelmed. I’m one of those people who are “awesome” on the fly-so all the prep tends to stress me out. No matter what though, we teachers all need a little more “zen” in our lives during this time of year.
I’ve decided to write a monthly blog post about Mindful Living and Teaching. I’m hoping through these posts that I’ll practice being more mindful and maybe help a couple of you out too. Together we’ll make this a great year as we mindfully teach, live and play.
There’s a lot of talk about Mindful teaching for kids-but what about teachers? If we don’t know how to do it, how can we possibly teach it?
So I came up with an acronym for 5 things that will give you more energy and positive attitude in your teaching.
How much do you need? Mindfulness is all about listening to your body and respecting what it’s telling you. So if you’re tired, do you reach for coffee, or try to wrap things up and stick to the schedule?
I know someone who has a timer on their lights so that they turn off when it’s time to go to bed and turn on when it’s time to wake up. This establishes a routine-something all teachers are known to use in their classrooms.
Another idea is to enlist the help of your room mate. My husband and I talk about what’a realistic time for us to go to bed and what does that mean for our evening schedule? What time do we work out? What time do we eat dinner? Who does the cooking and who does the clean up? What kinds of jobs are we trying to get done before we head to bed? One thing that I tend to underestimate is the amount of time it actually takes to get ready for bed. So ask yourself some questions and get the whole gang involved in deciding what’s the best time for LIGHTS OUT!
This one is pretty personal. For some a dinner and movie out will do the trick, and other’s it’s a night home in the jammies and a good book. Whatever makes you feel pampered is the right thing. If you’re not sure, then try a couple of different things to find out. My husband does NOT like massages, but they are my most favorite “pamper”. So, if I can, I indulge.
I’m not talking about gaining or losing weight. I’m talking about eating what’s right for your body and taking the time to plan, prep and prepare it. Are you a green smoothie in the car person? Do you eat at work? Do you sit down and take time to eat all three meals a day? No matter what you answer, I think that eating for your body is the most important thing of all. Most people have some kind of dietary restrictions and have to avoid certain things so they feel good. What things make your body feel good? Respect yourself and eat healthy.
This is probably the one that is the most difficult for many teachers. Unless you LOVE to workout-you’ll be making the most obvious excuses for no exercise. “I’m too tired,” “I walked up and down the hallway four times,” “I chased kids all day,” and so on. But if you want to have “speed” in your teaching, then you are going to need to address the exercise aspect of your life. I guess my first question is to ask what is your favorite kind of exercise? What time of day works best for you? For a while I was getting up at 4:30 am and going to the gym to swim 4 mornings a week. It didn’t last long because by 8:00pm I was in bed and my husband was up until 10:00pm and then we just never had any synergy in our schedules. I also found that I liked working out after teaching because it’s a great stress reliever. I also like to do a variety of activities from jogging to pilates/yoga and weight lifting. Find your favorite activity, get a teacher or trainer, schedule the time and go for it! You’ll be an inspiration to everyone around you and you’ll feel better too!
I think the thing I admire about some people is that they dress according to their personality. It’s like what they are wearing is an extension of their true self. I like it in other people, but sometimes it’s hard to do it for yourself. I have found that I have to take a little longer trying things on and take pictures and get a second opinion. I’ve also learned a couple of things about my body type that help me make decisions about styles or outfits. I can’t pull off a stretchy top and stretchy bottom. I have to have one piece with a bit of structure. So a t-shirt and jeans will look better than leggings and a t-shirt. I’m also very color sensitive and have to dress for my mood. Do you? What are your best colors? Are you a dress person? A jean person? What is your best look? I think that when you dress your best look it helps you with your attitude because you just feel better about yourself.
What are your goals for living a more mindful teaching life? Hope you’ll share below!
How about following my MINDFUL TEACHING PINTEREST BOARD ?