Taking work home every night, spending most of Sunday planning, and feeling like it’s never enough is a normal part of life for most teachers, but it shouldn’t be! When you signed up to be a teacher, you did not sign up to have it take over your entire life. I want to help you to change both your behavior and your mindset around the school work you do when you are at home and off the clock.
In this video, I am going to help you to do less by asking you to reflect on 3 essential questions.
Don’t worry, it isn’t nearly as serious as that sounds. It’s actually pretty simple, plus the video is fun to watch, less than 6 minutes long, and as if that were not enough, features pineapples prominently.
So, if you are feeling overwhelmed with work, take a peek!
Here is the transcript if you prefer to read:
Hey there teachers. As an educator, I bet you spend way too much time doing things for school when you are at home and off the clock. In fact, I bet there’s a good chance that you are multitasking and doing something for school right now, while you are watching this video. And I can totally relate because I would do the same thing.
Today, I want to help you to take some of that time back because let’s be honest, it’s your time, to begin with anyway. I’m Rachel Lynette, you may know me from Minds in Bloom, from Teachers Pay Teachers, or for my newest project Teach Yourself Care, which is all about teacher self-care. It’s so important for teachers to take good care of themselves and that’s why today we are going to focus on getting some of that time back for yourself. So maybe you are working on something right now, but even if you’re not, you will be soon because that’s what teachers do.
So you maybe you’re looking for a new math game for your math center. Even though you have a math game that’s working perfectly well, but you want a new one. Maybe you’re correcting papers. Maybe you are cutting out 30 perfect Pinterest worthy pineapples for your calendar in your tropical themed classroom. I don’t know what you’re doing or what it is that you’re going to be doing soon but whatever it is, I’d like you to ask your self a question. And that question is, is this thing that you’re doing, is it absolutely necessary to educate your students and to have your classroom run smoothly? Is this something that you absolutely must do? Now, it’s possible, very possible that the answer is yes. And if that’s true, of course keep doing it. One thing you might want to do is to see if you can find a way to get that into your contracted hours but that is for another day and another video.
But what if you answered no or maybe, or well, I don’t exactly have to do it but I don’t mind doing it. It’s not such a big deal to cut out all these tiny little pineapples. It’s not an unpleasant activity or I know that it will make my classroom look so cool. Or I know my students will really like this game but I don’t really have to do it. So what if your answer is no, not really. Well then I’d like you to ask yourself a second question. And that question is, by saying yes to this activity, this thing I’m doing right now for my classroom and my students, what am I saying no to? Or another way to put it is, what would I rather be doing? Maybe it is past midnight when you are watching this, what you’d rather be doing is sleeping because you really need to get some sleep.
And you’re not going to get that seven hours or even six hours unless you go to bed right now. Maybe it’s the middle of the afternoon, but you’re really dragging a little nap on the couch wouldn’t be a bad thing. So maybe it’s sleeping. Maybe you would rather curl up with the book that’s been sitting on your nightstand for two weeks. Maybe you would rather go to the kitchen and make yourself a nutritious and really delicious meal. Something that would feel really good in your tummy and that would taste good so they don’t have to get takeout yet again. Maybe you would rather paint rocks, work in the garden, go see a friend, do some knitting. I don’t know, whatever it is. Maybe you would rather watch six episodes of Bridgerton, even though you have already seen the entire series twice. Whatever it is, if it would bring you joy, if it would bring you happiness, then that is a good thing.
If it would help your emotional health, if it would help your physical health, all good things. So my next question for you, and this is the last question is, why is what you’re doing for your students, for your classroom, more important than this other activity that you would rather be doing when you are off the clock? Why is this activity more important than something for yourself? Why are you putting yourself last? Why are you not prioritizing your self-care and your mental health and your happiness? And I’m going to answer that question for you in case you don’t know how to answer it yourself. There’s no good reason. There’s no good reason at all. You have an important job. You are a teacher and you give a lot of yourself all the time, but you also need to take care of yourself. Now here’s the reason that you’re going to want to hear because you’re a teacher and you’re a giving person.
And it’s that old cup thing. You can’t feel all those little cups of your students if you have nothing in your cup to give. So you need to refill your cup with the things that you love and enjoy, and the things that are good for you. But also you need to do it just because you’re a person and a human and when you signed on the dotted line to become a teacher, you did not sign your life away. You get to have family time. You get to have time with your friends. You get to have time by yourself to pursue the things that you enjoy. You get to have a full night’s sleep. You get to have healthy food. All those things are things that you should have and because you’re a teacher doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have those things. So please, please, please, if this is a problem for you, work on your mindset to know that you too deserve to have a good life. Thank you for spending some of your extremely valuable time with me today. And if you want more teacher self-care goodness, you can find it at teachyourselfcare.com.
Now, stop working and go do something you really want to do!
If you thought this post was worth your time, you could help this sprouting blog and earn my eternal thanks by:
- Sharing this post on social media.
- Leaving a comment.
- Subscribing to the Teach YourSelf Care email at the top of this page so you’ll never miss a post.
Thanks so much for stopping by!