These guides for first-year teachers offer crucial tips for managing the classroom, students, curriculum, parent communication, and, of course, time.
15 Stress-Busting Tips From Teachers
Experienced teachers share quick tips on managing the heavy workload and reducing stress.
PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12
By the time the school bell rings every day, you've probably made more decisions than a Fortune 500 executive, been on your feet longer than a marathon runner, negotiated peace agreements any diplomat would envy, and given your vocal cords a workout that rivals anything Mariah Carey or Jennifer Hudson go through. What can you do to reduce the stress? You can't check into a spa for six weeks, but you can benefit from this collection of stress-busting strategies from experienced teachers who survived those first difficult months of teaching from September to December, and beyond!
- Break down whatever you have to do into smaller tasks. If you have to tackle a beast, carve it into nibble-sized hors d'oeuvres.
- Think of things that make teaching fun for you - and do them!
- Deal openly with a colleague who has bothered or upset you before the situation festers.
- Try not to take things personally because often comments aren't meant to be digs.
- Stay in close touch with nature. Talk to classroom pets, take a class outdoors if weather and school policy permit it, open the windows at snack time, find a way to incorporate the change of seasons and nature walks into your curriculum.
- Make time during the school year for your hobbies. Don't wait for summer vacation.
- Apologize when you're wrong.
- Put a cartoon or photo that makes you laugh in you plan book or desk drawer and look at it when you need a boost.
- Take a walk during lunch, a planning period, or after school. During your walk, don't think about the things you have to do.
- Steer clear of the coffee pot in the faculty room. Too much caffeine can make you nervous and irritable.
- Keep in mind that no matter what colleagues, your principal, students, or parents think or say, you're basically a good teacher who can't please all the people all the time.
- Don't listen to the rumors that fly around the school.
- Give yourself permission to do absolutely nothing for five minutes a day — and not feel guilty about it.
- Just say no. Politely refuse to take on more projects than you can handle, even if a colleague, your principal, or a parent asks you to.
- Be grateful to have a meaningful job.
This article originally appeared in Teacher magazine, published by Scholastic.