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
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
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
from school, teaching, and little people actually makes me a
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)
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.
Law and Order, Greys Anatomy, Scandal, and White Collar… Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes.
I used to feel bad (slash guilty) when people asked: “Have you seen X show on Netflix?”
And my answer was
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.
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
, 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
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,
, take time to
. You cannot be the teacher your students need when you are running on empty.
Trust me, you deserve it.