How do teachers restore themselves?

Amy Gonzalez Middle School English Teacher

As much as I am concerned with the social and emotional well being of our students, I am also concerned with the health of teachers. It's just about mid-summer and I hope all you teachers have been able to feel a lighter and brighter than usual. Please share with me how you restore yourself in the summer and even more importantly, during the school year. There is nothing more overly stimulating than teaching and I frequently feel drained when the day is done.

I am hoping to collect responses to put on my new blog: http://alwaysafirst.com/

I also think this can be an excellent ongoing forum to help throughout the year!

Reading, writing, and running is what is pepping me up now.

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Strong supporter of Educational Equality, a Fair Go for all Australians

Networking and Venting

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To restore myself, I meet with colleagues who understand. This provides an opportunity to firstly vent (so I don't take anything home) but also to problem solve together. A problem shared is a problem halved as they say. Then we are free to enjoy each others company and have a good, deep, belly laugh.

NBCT, science educator

Obtaining energy...

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I agree that working with colleagues who understand is valuable. Most people not in education have little understanding of the challenges and benefits of the profession. Being part of a professional support network is valuable.

At the same time I feel recharged after taking workshops/courses, engaging in learning opportunities throughout the year. The profession requires us to be life long learners with learning comes change.

Feeling "drained" at the end of the day is good and a natural result of being an educator.

Teacher, Writer, and Artist

BROOD ... AND RUIN YOUR MOOD

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I finally got smart and learned that too-many cigars, brooding, cheap wine, and pondering for way too long every evening at home, was not the way to take the edge off what a teacher experiences. It was not the way to refresh. It’s exercise—open-mouth breathing, sweat-spewing, body-changing exercise. That’s what ultimately does it.

I started training for marathons and ran in a bunch of marathons and half-marathons and in those hard-core, military style obstacle course races, one of them with my teacher buddy, Mr. Warbird, leading the charge to not be burned alive, electrocuted, or drown in creeks, lakes, or pools of mud or ice water. I boxed at the local Police Athletic league and got my butt kicked around, but while I changed my body and teacher’s mind for the better. Some of my students caught on and asked why in the heck would I subject myself to all that. I never told them the real truth. But I did let them punch me in my stomach as hard as they wanted and anytime they wanted. You can know your subject and teach it like an expert, but if you want to impress young scholars, let them punch you in the gut and enjoy the satisfaction of being their teacher-hero in the most unconventional way.

This used to drive my principal, Lurlene, crazy and she told me to stop but I never did. My other teacher buddy across the hall, Old Burrell, thought it was brilliant. At his old school, six or seven hundred years ago, he said he used to kick kids out of class by dragging them into the hall while they were still in their desks. That was back in the good ol’ days, he said, and parents thanked him for it.

www.adixiediary.com

Teacher, Writer, and Artist

AS FOR MY SUMMER RELAXATION ENTERPRISES ...

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I was running … jogging … slogging … whatever you want to call it on a new road near where I live called Ronald Reagan Parkway. How social studies is that?

Anyway, it wasn’t pretty, but all I can say is that I was slogging in a forward direction. At an intersection an old lady hauled off and asked me, while she had a cell phone mashed against her ear, for some directions. Once I started giving her the directions and pointing in a number of various directions with both arms and hands her eyes glazed over and she shoved her phone at my face and said talk to my dang daughter.

I started talking to her dang daughter.

Her dang daughter apologized for her mother being from Alabama.

I told the daughter she didn’t have to apologize for her mother being from Alabama because her mother seemed like good people anyway. I reached into the old lady’s window and patted her on the shoulder. The old lady’s car was packed with stuff. I guess she was coming up from Alabama for the whole summer. I’ll bet her daughter just had a baby or two.

The old lady shouted at her phone mashed against my wet ear in her Alabama accent that her daughter was from Alabama, TOO! That she was BORN in Alabama!

I finished talking to her daughter on her cell phone and when I handed the cell phone back to the old lady she must have been real grateful for the directions because she didn’t say a thing about her cell phone being covered with sweat. I know I felt like a real ambassador.

I run an NGO in the desert

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I run an NGO in the desert state of Rajasthan,India and teach young men & women
rural tourism entrepreneurship. Recently we had a group of 20 French students and
two faculty,they stayed in my boutique heritage Hotel Mahal Khandela in Jaipur
and studied the working of 6 NGOs around Jaipur. I invite you & all your friends
to my beautiful city of Jaipur and see the working of these NGOs. Regards.

I run an NGO in the desert

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I run an NGO in the desert state of Rajasthan,India and teach young men & women
rural tourism entrepreneurship. Recently we had a group of 20 French students and
two faculty,they stayed in my boutique heritage Hotel Mahal Khandela in Jaipur
and studied the working of 6 NGOs around Jaipur. I invite you & all your friends
to my beautiful city of Jaipur and see the working of these NGOs. Regards.

English teacher and literacy coach, Sydney, Australia

Meditation and writing

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Meditation and writing provide a balm to my soul and an energy wrap to my body and brain. Of course these are not simply activities for the summer holidays but apply year round. Through summer though i enjoy having the opportunity to take to the beach and enjoy the meditative and creativity inspiring experience offered by sun, salt and sand.

Health Science & Life Skills Middle School teacher from MA

Family vacation right away in

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Family vacation right away in July and a shorter one just before going back does the trick! Relaxation, travel, shopping, reading....By the beginning of August I am ready to do some planning. Enjoy the sunny days while you can! I have spent some quality pd time on Twitter, Pint erest, etc This summer vacation has been energizing. I am excited to return to my classroom and implement a few ideas from Edutopia as well!

Retired Health Ed Teacher certified in Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy

A Mental and Emotional Tool Kit for Teachers

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I have just the thing for you Amy. Rather than go on about the "tools" in a post here, I'd like to invite you to visit www.itsjustanevent.com.

The beauty of this approach is that it helps you get into the best possible mental and emotional place to be the best teacher you can be, while also reducing your stress, and helping you make less mistakes with students, especially the most troubled and troublesome ones. If you teach these "tools" to your students, it can vaccinate them mental and emotionally against all manner of mental health, health and social problems, and make your job easier and more rewarding. And, the more you teach these "tools" to them, the better you'll get at using them in your own life.

I also have some narrated power points posted on YouTube. My channel is "itsjustanevent" and the titles are "Mental and Emotional Fitness" parts 1-13

There are a lot of ways to temporarily feel better. Some are healthy, many are not. But there's only one way to GET better (reduce your overall frequency, intensity and duration of feelings like anger, anxiety, depression, shame, etc) and that's to change the way you THINK about things. That's what the "tools" help you do.

Special Ed

Teacher Reflections and Why

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I had an extensive discussion with my coworkers about reflection. I explained that we as teachers should be a positive figure in our students’ eyes. One of the teachers was shaking her head as if she disagrees. This week that same teacher, told she had a change of heart, and I asked her why. She told me that her daughter’s preschool teacher moved last week. Her daughter cried all week and that weekend. Her daughter asked her who would be her new teacher and will she help her read the big words in her book. The little girl has a speech impairment. Know she refuses to read at school and home. Her daughter was only in that class for three months. My coworker said seeing her daughter hurt like that over a teacher that she has only known for a short while was moving. The teacher assigning the students a get to know you essay. She wanted to know more about them and not just their names. I commented to her that she was a true reflecting teacher now.

Brown

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