7 reasons why teacher self-care is not a thing

teacher self-care Nov 20, 2019

Teacher self-care is a thing.  An important thing.

I attended the TESOL Convention earlier this year where I had a conversation with a teacher about the work that I’m doing and the book I wrote about teacher self-care. She had a strange look on her face and said: “teacher self-care is a thing?” I wasn’t surprised when she responded that way because a few years ago, I would have said the same thing.

In 2015, I left classroom teaching after a 20-year career due to professional burn-out. Sadly, self-care was not part of my vocabulary especially during times of excessive stress when I should have been taking care of myself. I had no idea what the signs of burnout were so I’m now on a mission as a teacher self-care crusader and advocate to talk about its importance. I hope that by speaking out, I can help teachers avoid what I went through and sustain their careers.

Why don’t we think teacher self-care is a thing? I believe there are seven reasons...

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Why I finally told my story of burn-out

 



By the time I saw this quote on social media, it was too late.  I needed this advice at the start of my 20-year teaching career, not when it was over.  I never practiced self-care even when I experienced some major life events.  Self-care was just not part of my vocabulary.

When I left teaching in 2015, I didn't realize at the time that I had actually burned out.  Jokingly, I told my colleagues I was retiring.  To be honest, I felt weak because I couldn't and didn't want to teach any longer but I also felt sad because teaching ESL was a career I had loved.  

Sometime in 2017,  I started to read about teacher stress and burn-out. I had no idea that there was actually a Maslach Teacher Inventory to measure burn-out!  Nor did I know how frequently teachers were leaving the profession. I wasn't alone but I wondered if there was something I could have done differently to avoid burn-out.

When I googled teacher well-being, it lead...

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Can we really reclaim 2 hours a day?

I’m a big fan of The Blue Zones - an organization that helps people live better and longer lives based on research from some of the world’s longest-lived cultures (https://www.bluezones.com/)  Perhaps you're familiar with the founder Dan Buettner’s best-selling 2017 book, The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World's Happiest People.

When I saw the latest Blue Zones blog post headline Free Up 2 Hours a Day with This Exercise today, it caught my eye. Blog titles are meant to grab our attention, make us stop what we are doing and read. But is this title misleading?  (Read the full article here: http://bit.ly/35yB8Xl)

In my work as a teacher well-being and self-care advocate and writer, the number one reason why teachers tell me they can’t practice self-care is they don’t have time. I was an educator for more than 20 years and never practiced self-care, so I get it. People seem to be busier and more stressed due to growing personal...

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"Teacher self-care is a thing?"

teacher self-care May 14, 2019
 
Yes, it's a thing.
 
An important thing.
 
I recently attended the TESOL Convention in Atlanta where I had a conversation with a teacher about the work I’m doing related to teacher self-care. I wasn’t surprised when she responded the way she did because a few years ago, I would have responded in a similar fashion.

In 2015, I left classroom teaching after a 20-year career due to professional burn-out. Sadly, self-care was not part of my vocabulary. I’m now on a mission as a teacher self-care crusader and advocate to talk about its importance. 

Teaching is a profession that requires giving of one’s self to make a difference for students. The chronic use of empathy and depletion of emotional resources are strongly associated with emotional exhaustion and/or professional burnout (Maslach, Schaufeli & Leiter, 2001).

There is a growing interest in the area of student well-being but everyone must flourish, including students, teachers,...

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Why Teachers Need to Care about Self-Care (Contact, April 2019)

teacher self-care Apr 08, 2019

 

“Self-care is not selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel”. -Eleanor Brownn

Teaching is a profession that requires giving of one’s self to make a difference for students. The chronic use of empathy and depletion of emotional resources are strongly associated with emotional exhaustion and/or professional burnout (Maslach, Schaufeli & Leiter, 2001). Also, challenges such as student behaviour, precarious work, multiple workloads or administrative responsibilities can add to the pressures of this demanding profession.

There is a growing interest in the area of student well-being but everyone must flourish, including students, teachers, and administrative staff. Research studies suggest that learning happens best when teachers and their students are well but the added benefit is that as teachers flourish, relationships with students,...

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