Dear Educator,

Welcome to the very first educat↻rRESET newsletter!

Before I became a teacher, I spent years as a student support aide, watching teachers tirelessly pouring their hearts into their work, often at the expense of their own well-being.

I’ll admit, I used to think I could do it differently, that I wouldn’t fall into that same trap.

But, let’s fast forward a few years, and you guessed it—I found myself in the same burnt-out teacher boat.

Then it dawned on me, we all learned in the same system that values production over well-being, where the idea of ‘doing more’ often eclipses the importance of ‘being well.’

I don’t know about you, but there were no modules in my teacher training on work/life balance.

And it’s not a coincidence that in environments filled with burnt-out educators, our youth grow up perceiving burnout as the norm. They watch us, their role models, and adopt our habits as their life blueprint.

It’s time to rewrite this story.

My mission is to help you sustain a healthy work-life balance throughout the school year, in a way that aligns with your individual circumstances. Additionally, I aim to equip you with tools to empower your students and the children in your life to do the same.

In this inaugural newsletter, we’ll explore a fundamental aspect often overlooked: self-care amidst a busy educator’s schedule.

Thank you for being here. Let’s dive in.

Finding Time for Self-Care

In the whirlwind of teaching, finding moments for self-care can feel like chasing a mirage.

You juggle countless responsibilities, kinda like playing ‘Whac-a-Mole’ all day, leaving little time for personal well-being.

The common approach is to treat self-care as a luxury, something to fit in ‘when there’s time.’ Unfortunately, this approach rarely works.

The constant cycle of giving to others without replenishing your own energy can lead to burnout, affecting both your teaching and personal life.

The typical solution for self-care involves dedicating long blocks of time, an approach that seldom aligns with the reality of a teacher’s schedule. This traditional method sets unrealistic expectations, making it difficult to achieve and sustain.

A Different Approach: Embracing Micro Self-Care Moments

Redefining self-care involves a shift in perspective. Instead of seeking extensive periods for self-care, let’s embrace micro self-care moments. These small, intentional actions woven throughout your day can make a remarkable difference.

Here are some practical strategies to infuse moments of rejuvenation into your day:

  • Mindful Mornings: Begin your day with a few moments of mindfulness. Whether it’s a few deep breaths, a brief meditation, or savoring a peaceful cup of coffee, setting a positive tone at the start can set the stage for a calmer day.
  • Utilize Transition Times: Capitalize on the moments between tasks or classes. Instead of rushing to the next activity, take a brief pause. Close your eyes, stretch, or simply take a slow, mindful walk to the next destination.
  • Lunchtime Recharge: Rather than working through lunch, use this time to recharge. Even a short walk outside, a nourishing meal enjoyed mindfully, or a few minutes of reading something unrelated to work can provide a much-needed break.
  • Post-Class Decompression: After a hectic class, take a moment to decompress. Whether it’s a few minutes of deep breathing, jotting down reflections, or engaging in a quick gratitude practice, this time allows you to reset before diving into the next task.
  • Evening Wind-Down: As the day winds down, indulge in a calming routine. Whether it’s a warm bath, a few pages of a book, or a gentle yoga session, these moments signal the transition from work to personal time.

Your Homework:

  1. Identify Micro-Moments: Take stock of your day and pinpoint tiny gaps where you can infuse self-care. Whether it’s a few minutes between classes, during transitions, or in the evening wind-down, recognize these pockets of opportunity.
  2. Curate Personal Rituals: Explore simple self-care practices that resonate with you. This could be deep breathing exercises, brief moments of mindfulness, a short walk, or savoring a mindful cup of tea.
  3. Normalize Self-Care Moments: Consider these micro-moments as essential appointments with yourself. Normalize the act of taking these breaks, honoring them as crucial for your well-being.

Closing Thoughts

Self-care isn’t just about grand gestures; it’s about weaving small moments of rejuvenation into our daily lives. Furthermore, acknowledging the importance of self-care isn’t selfish; it’s self-preservation. By nurturing ourselves, we become more present, patient, and resilient—qualities that greatly benefit both our students and ourselves.

Wishing you moments of tranquility and rejuvenation in your busy days.

See you next week.

Sarah Mae
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Sarah Mae | The educatorRESET

Tangible strategies for the K-12 classroom and life.

A free weekly newsletter for educators on 21st-century pedagogy and addressing burnout.

Sarah Mae | Educator & Education Advocate | educatorRESET

Hi–I’m Sarah Mae. I help educators maintain a healthy work-life balance throughout the school year and teach their students to do the same.

Bring it to your Classroom

Micro Self-care Lesson Plan

Micro Self-care Lesson Plan

Taking the time for self-care is important for our mental health. This lesson will help students identify micro-activities that will engage different aspects of self-care in four areas: physical, emotional, mental, and social.

Sarah Mae | The educatorRESET

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