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Wellness Tips for Teachers That Will Help You Get in the Right Mindset for the New School Year

Teachers do so much for our kids; we want to show them our appreciation.

Wellness Tips for Teachers That Will Help You Get in the Right Mindset for the New School Year

There's a lot to do to get ready for the new school year. There are desks to arrange, supplies and materials to organize, copies to make, and lessons to outline. All this planning ensures that everything is ready when the kids arrive, but there's a lot more to running a successful classroom than making sure the classroom is set up and ready to go.

Teachers experience more job-related stress than other working adults, and that stress can have serious consequences. Not only can it lead to teacher burnout, but it can also affect students. Overly stressed, burnt-out teachers lose their patience more easily, and because they can't focus, they find it difficult to present good lessons. They inadvertently create a hostile classroom environment that makes it hard for students to learn.

It's important for teachers to prepare their classrooms for the new school year, but it's equally important for teachers to get into the right mindset. By making wellness a priority before school even starts, you can set the tone for a more fulfilling school year.

Take Time to Reflect on the Previous School Year

Things at school happen fast. As soon as the year wraps up, teachers are encouraged to start looking ahead to the fall. There isn't a lot of time to reflect on the previous school year, but you can learn a lot by taking the time to dig into what went well-and what didn't.

That means thinking about obvious things, like what lessons were a hit and which ones flopped, but you should go deeper.

How did you and your students feel in your classroom?

Was there a point in the day that felt rushed? Did you feel like you were able to connect on a meaningful level with your students? Did you get the support you needed from other teachers and administrators in the building?

These are the sorts of things that really impact teacher and student wellness, above and beyond what lessons you teach and how things are organized. If you can find a way to do things like slow down, work one-on-one time with students into your schedule, and find creative ways to collaborate with your coworkers, you'll find that the school year feels a little less stressful.

Make a List of Things You're Looking Forward to

There is a lot to be nervous about when starting a new school year. There are likely some things that are causing you some anxiety, and there are probably some things you're downright dreading.

However, the bad always comes with at least some good. Take time ahead of the new school year to make a list of some of the things you're looking forward to.

No matter how big or small, write it down! List everything from teaching a new grade to wrapping up a mentorship program or even getting to eat your favorite lunch from the cafeteria.

Then, keep your list where you can see it. That way, you're reminded to focus on the good, especially when you're feeling overwhelmed.

Don't be afraid to add to your list throughout the year! Whenever there's something you're looking forward to at school, write it down to help keep yourself in a positive mindset.

Buy Something You Want for Your Classroom

Teachers buy a lot of their own supplies for the classroom out of pocket. From paper to erasers, flashcards, posters, and more, teachers spend an average of $478 each year on their classroom. When spending so much on necessary classroom supplies, there isn't a lot left over for wants, but it's the little things that can provide you with a pick-me-up when you're having a bad day.

Create a small budget to buy at least one thing you want ahead of the new school year. It could be a planner with stickers, colorful gel pens, a new tumbler, or a fancy chair. If it brings you joy, it deserves to be in the classroom just as much as lined paper, storage bins, and crayons.

Create a Plan For Behavior

Student behavior is a leading reason why teachers leave the classroom. Student behavior can cause a lot of stress and anxiety, but so can anticipating potential behaviors. You aren't alone if you spend the days and weeks leading up to the new school year worrying more about student behavior than the curriculum.

Instead of waiting to see what your classroom is like and winging your classroom management plan as you go along, take some time to create a plan ahead of the new school year.

Get clear on the rules in your classroom and what will happen to students who don't follow those rules. Know how you're going to get your class's attention and iron out a schedule with time for breaks so students have an opportunity to get their sillies out.

The personal relationship you have with your students can greatly impact their behavior. How are you going to get to know your students? Plan ahead to include fun activities, one-on-one time, and classroom meetings throughout the week. When you have a plan to build rapport with your students, classroom management will feel less scary.

Create a Mental Health Plan for the Year

Being a teacher is a demanding job. Even the most seasoned, well-planned, confident teachers can feel exhausted and anxious. Teachers have a way of pushing through it, but that ultimately leads to burnout. Instead, make a commitment to yourself ahead of the new school year to care for your mental health.

Start by doing something special before the school year starts. Get a massage, get a manicure, or go on a weekend getaway. That way, you arrive at school on the first day with a full cup.

Then come up with a plan to take care of your mental health throughout the year. It doesn't have to be as grand as getting a massage or taking a trip. Make a commitment to take your lunch in the teacher's lounge instead of catching up on emails, start the day with a fancy latte, or go for a walk most days after school. It doesn't matter what it is, so long as you choose something that encourages you to slow down and refill your cup so you can continue giving to your students from a place of wholeness.

Then, hold yourself accountable. Write your mental health plan down if you need to so you aren't tempted to skip lunch or your after-school walk in the name of getting more work done.

It's true that there's a lot to do in order to get ready for a new school year, but that doesn't mean your mental health and wellness should get pushed to the bottom of your to-do list! Mentally prepare yourself for a new school year in between arranging desks and organizing supplies. Not only will it have a positive impact on your students, but it will also make school a little easier for you.