My Top 5 Strategies to Make This The Best Term Yet!
So, we’re at the end of another school break (a much-needed one I must say!) … Tonight, there’s so many of us around who are prepping ourselves for the final term of the year and strapping ourselves in for the ride. I know, for so many of us, that the start of term can be quite a nervy and unsettling time, especially as we transition from holiday mode back to work mode. In my (almost) 7 years of teaching now, I’ve found that the start of term always brings some nervous energy, and my thought patterns of always wanting to make sure that I’m well-organised and ready for it all tend to creep back into the forefront of my brain.
Over the years though, I have certainly worked towards trying to manage this energy a lot better, and have found strategies that work for me to help settle myself before the start of a brand new term. We all know that as teachers, it’s so important for us to be fully present for those under our care. And the only way we can be fully present is if our cup is filled and our energies are stable!
Here are my top 5 tips/strategies that I’d like to share with you, my fellow educator, on how to best prepare yourself for the new term ahead.
#1: Create clear boundaries between home and work
There is a reason this is my number 1, especially today, as us high school teachers here in Victoria are strapping in for a hybrid learning model, with most of our students still learning remotely, and us definitely still finding that we are working from home a fair bit.
It is so important to create separation between work and your personal life. Constantly thinking and worrying about work can spill over into your personal life and this can have a significant negative impact on your wellbeing. Take the dog for a walk, put on some music and have a dance in your living room, take time out to cook a meal. Do anything that will help you transition from work to personal, and make sure you stay in that personal space until the next day!
#2: Find a colleague you fully trust and can talk to
Spend an hour a week with your bestie(s) at work to talk through work-related issues with. Your colleagues are the ones who know best what you are going through and the problems that you’re facing.
Get together with them regularly to talk, focusing on solutions to problems rather than just dwelling on the problems themselves. You can easily get trapped in a paralysis when you think things are awful and there is nothing you can do. Focus on being constructive rather than having a mutual whinging session about how bad things are. While this can help you feel better initially, it does not solve the problems. Make sure you have conversations around how to help alleviate your worries/solve your problems.
#3: Set yourself small and achievable goals
We all make plans for big changes we hope to make in the new term (been there, done that!). However, if they are too difficult you will not be able to achieve them and you just throw your hands up in the air before getting there. On the other hand, if they are too easy you will not find them challenging enough. It is a fine line when it comes to setting goals that light us up.
What I have learned over the years is that it is often best to make changes in small steps because meeting small goals can often develop feelings of efficiency and confidence that in the long run can help you tackle larger tasks and goals.
#4: Reward yourself and celebrate!
Managing stress effectively will improve your physical and mental health and make you happier in the long run. This is already a reward in itself when we consciously live our lives as our true selves outside of our identities as teachers.
Having said that, don’t hesitate to reward yourself with tangible things when you meet your goals. Celebrate with a nice meal, or buy yourself something that you’ve been wanting for a while now. Legit – treat yourself when you kick your goals. You so deserve it!
#5: Listen to your mind, body and soul.
Stop when you need to. Your body will tell you when you need a break. And don’t ignore it, make sure you listen to it and do something about it! Burnoutville is not where you want to be over the course of the term, so make sure you are listening to your body when it’s telling you that it needs a break.
Do a meditation in the middle of the day if you need to. Get your yoga mat out and do some yoga at the end of the work day. Take a bath on a school night. Burn a candle and read a book if you have to! There are so many things that you can do to nourish yourself, and to support you to flourish as a teacher/educator. If you are looking for self-care ideas, I have my free “The Flourishing Teacher’s Self Care Guide” available for you through this link!
Also, if you are craving support from someone who can keep you accountable towards your goals for the term ahead, please do not hesitate to get in touch with me via my contact form or just slide on into my DMs on Instagram! I am so ready to support you and cheer you on as you live out your flourishing life as a person, on top of your flourishing life as a teacher 😊