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February 6, 2015 Teacher Tips for Staying Healthy and Happy By Rhonda Stewart
Grades 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    We all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our workdays. But we need to remember to work efficiently and effectively, and we need to find moments to take stock of where we are so that we do not burn out. During this time of new teacher evaluations such as the Danielson or McREL models, PARCC assessments, and the other pressing demands of our profession, it is easy to lose yourself. This is really hitting home for me. So, now I am taking a few small moments to regenerate myself so that I can achieve one of my highest goals: being an effective teacher!


    Moments to Breathe

    In an earlier post on easy-to-use stress-busting tips, I shared several tried-and-true techniques that helped me to de-stress in the classroom. Last year, I decided that I wanted to expand my list with some new and different strategies. Using my bonus points from Scholastic Reading Club (I love my bonus points!), I ordered Tips To Avoid Teacher Burnout In a Jar. Inside the jar are approximately 100 cards with concrete ideas to try out. What I love about the majority of the tips is that they cost little or nothing. 

    Here are tips that are really easy to implement, some which can be done on a daily basis.


    I know that this will be difficult at times, but coming in sick does not win brownie points. Give your body a chance to recover from an illness such as the flu. You will feel better and be able to teach more effectively.


    I know some are you are thinking, "If I am drinking water, I will have to use the restroom!" and you are correct. Buddy up with a teacher so that you can make a quick restroom run.



    My colleagues tease me because I always have either peppers (red, orange, or yellow) or celery, plus an apple or pear for my daily snack/lunch. They taste good and are good for you too!



    I am wearing my Polar activity band (another Reading Club Bonus Catalog find). It helps me keep track of my steps and activity levels throughout the day. My daily goal is to consistently walk 10,000 steps. Currently, I am in training for two long distance bike runs. Getting my exercise in!


    My students love listening to music during writing workshop. Music before the rush of the day helps to set a calming tone. This one is a priority for me. I am going to put more effort into making sure that I have my quiet music to start and end my day at work. I can easily go to Pandora or access a playlist from YouTube to have the music streaming into my classroom.


    My family always brings me to a happy place. And it doesn't hurt to have a Hershey's Kiss!


    I have decided to share some more of these tips weekly as Pearls of Wisdom. So tune in each week to see what new and simple techniques you can use to help you inhale and exhale!

    What techniques do you use to keep you de-stressed in the classroom? Please share! I love hearing ideas from you that make all of our lives easier!


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Susan Cheyney