Four Ways to Recharge as a Teacher

Being a teacher can be one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet.  I get to watch students learn to fall

in love

with learning.  I love the moment when the ‘light bulb’ goes on, and they understand something for the very first time.  I love seeing wonder and excitement in almost every moment.

However, teaching can also be completely and totally draining.

While I have the privilege of hearing about every happy moment, I also enter into each of their hard times as well.

Even in third grade, there are so many

tough moments

to walk through.

I consider it such a privilege to come alongside students and their families in both seasons of joy and sorrow, but, at times, they can leave me feeling so physically and emotionally exhausted.

When I first began teaching, I used to give 110% all of the time until I had

absolutely nothing left to give

.

I think I felt that if I wasn’t

always going, always moving, always trying to do more

, it wasn’t enough.

What is it about our culture that seems to see stillness as synonymous with laziness??

I learned pretty quickly that this is just not sustainable.

I cannot be the teacher I want to be if I have nothing to give.

Slowly, I have been learning that taking time to rest, relax, recharge, and spend time

away

from school, teaching, and little people actually makes me a

better

teacher.

I don’t have to feel guilty for stepping away for a moment, because recharging my own ‘batteries’ gives me life to invest into those around.

I have found a few ways to be particularly life-giving in this past season.

spending time in the word

Each night, before bed, whether I’m “ready” for the next day or not.

I stop at 9:30, and the day is done.

Then I cozy into bed with my NIV Study Bible and start reading.

I am loving this tradition of ending the day in The Word.

I used to feel bad that I couldn’t find time to read my Bible each morning.

However, I am learning to give myself grace, and appreciate that finding my own routines and rhythms can be just as rewarding.

I tend to sleep more soundly if I can focus on God (and not my never ending to-do list) at the end of each day.

netflix (no chill, no guilt)

I

love

Netflix.

In a deep, I should-feel-guilty-about-it, kind of way.

I don’t watch shows casually. I am a binge-watch-only kind of girl.

Royal Pains?

Yep!

Prison Break?

Of Course!

Law and Order, Greys Anatomy, Scandal, and White Collar… Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes.

All Seasons.

I used to feel bad (slash guilty) when people asked: “Have you seen X show on Netflix?”

And my answer was

always

yes.

I do watch a lot of binge-able TV… because it is such an escape. I can turn off the rest of my life and immerse myself in the characters and the drama of a storyline that has nothing to do with my own.

I’ve noticed that the amount of Netflix I watch directly correlates to the stress in my life: the more stressful the situation, the more I gravitate to cuddling-up with a show when I get home from work.

the beach

My soul feels best when it is outside, near the water.

I love the ocean, but I can make due with a lake in a pinch! I live on the west coast, mere minutes from so many amazing beaches.

When I stand next to the ocean I feel small. My problems seem to shrink in comparison to the immensity of the body of water next to me.

I tend to stand next to the water and just breathe.

There is something about salty ocean air that is good for the soul.

getting out of the city

Sometimes a quick trip to the beach, or an afternoon of Netflix just isn’t enough to recharge.

I am learning how vitally important it can be for my mental health, and my marriage, to take the time to

stop

, rest, and focus on something other than the day-to-day in the classroom.

This past weekend my husband and I headed to Kelowna to take advantage of some amazing beautiful weather in BC (20 degrees Celsius, 68 Fahrenheit).

We spent the weekend at a small B&B, toured wineries, and just spent time together.

It’s amazing how time

away

can prepare you for getting back to regular life.

I’m not sure that I always realize just how exhausted and empty I am until I remember to take the time to rest and recharge.

I’d encourage you to do the same,

rest

,

relax

, take time to

recharge

. You cannot be the teacher your students need when you are running on empty.

Trust me, you deserve it.

- rachel

Rachel - PoetPrints.ca