#15 – Practice Self-Care: Tips for Teachers and Students

Unpacking Education November 25, 2020 30 min

Whether you are in a completely remote or hybrid classroom, the reality of teaching during a pandemic has required teachers to develop new routines. Many of us are struggling with work time that blends into personal time. It’s too easy to slip into being on call 24/7, as we tackle emerging challenges and requests from learners anywhere and at any time.

Join our Digital Learning Specialists as they talk about how they are tending to their own personal health during a time when we feel consumed with urgent work issues on a daily basis. We share strategies to help recover, recharge, and regroup, in an effort to avoid becoming mentally exhausted and drained of energy. Let’s talk about what it means to find balance in taking care of ourselves so that we have the energy to be there for others.

Paul Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist
Rena Clark
Digital Learning Coach
Pamela Beckermann
PreK-12 Digital Learning Specialist

Below, you will find resources and tips shared during the podcast to support your virtual-teaching goals.

I’m thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn’t have stumbled across my strength.

Alexandra Elle, author and wellness consultant


In this week’s episode, we discuss the following strategies and resources that are available on AVID Open Access for you to explore in more depth.

Curb Burnout by Prioritizing Self-Care

What can teachers do to ease this new, pandemic strain of burnout? How can we prioritize self-care, while still providing the social and emotional support that each of our students need? For many teachers, pandemic teaching has been a crash course in working from home in front of a computer all day. Without the face-to-face interactions with students that sustain teachers, the new daily routine has left many of us close to burnout. With the holiday season around the corner, let’s explore ways that you can take time to prioritize yourself and your well-being.

Take Time to Recover, Recharge, and Regroup

Recover: With Thanksgiving and winter holidays around the corner, both you and your students have an opportunity to create time and space to recover. Over the past several months, you have been focused on providing positive support and feedback to your students. You have modeled perseverance for students and can empathize with the daily struggle to engage. Now, it’s time to carve out your self-care routines.

  • Set boundaries. You don’t need to be the 24/7 teacher. Everyone understands the need to unplug and find quality time for yourself or with family and friends.
  • Find your pocket phrase. “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to attend that meeting. My schedule is full.” “I have a hard stop at this time.” It’s okay to say no. Explore phrases that help you caringly communicate your boundaries.
  • Make time for breaks. Find what works for you—a coffee break, a 15-minute break for a walk around the neighborhood, a time-out to listen to a podcast. Create pockets of time during the day just for you.

Recharge: What reenergizes you? If you have an extroverted personality, taking the time to call a friend or loved one may help recharge your battery. For others, a walk outside or quiet time with a good book will help to recharge. Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish. If your battery is low, you will have a harder time motivating and engaging your students.

Regroup: After you’ve had a chance to recover and recharge, it’s time to reflect. Think about what priorities may be able to come off your plate. What brings you joy? What can you change?

  • Take the time to pause, reflect, and remember your why. This is a great activity for both you and your students. Find an outlet that works for you—perhaps journaling or blogging—and provides a space to reflect.
  • Define your self-care SMART goal. Reflect on a goal that is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.

Digital Tools

Let us help you look for new ways to practice self-care. We share tips for the following digital tools in this week’s episode.

  • Brain Breaks and Meditation: Mind Yeti (Tips) is an online mindfulness resource that provides user-friendly, guided mindfulness sessions and videos. Resources are available in English and Spanish, and they revolve around a collection of short meditative video/audio scripts. The audio files can also be listened to on Spotify or iTunes as podcasts, and many of the videos are available on YouTube.
  • Make Art: Explore free platforms like the one at Bomomo.com, which is an online tool for creating abstract images in just a few seconds. Similar to Microsoft Paint, Bomomo has a selection of tools for drawing so that you can create a colorful, abstract masterpiece in minutes.

“Art is a natural way to practice mindfulness. The colors, textures and sounds of creating pull us into the moment. You don’t need any previous training to meditate through art, just a willingness to draw like a child, with freedom and a sense of curiosity.”

– Amy Maricle, artist, art therapist, and founder of Mindful Art Studio