Tuesday, September 29, 2009

10 Stress Busters for Teachers

I found that the worst part of teaching is the stress. While the actual teaching is fun and the kids are usually great, almost everything else about the job is pure stress. It's not a job, it's a career. It's not what you do, it's who you are. You are a teacher...24/7/365. It never goes away...not even when you retire. If you're not careful, it becomes all you do. You teach, and when you're not teaching, you're still working for the job. There are discipline problems to deal with, parents, administration, school board, school law, new legislation, low pay, keeping up on your own coursework to renew your certificate, working on a higher degree, checking papers, making lesson plans, counseling, motivating, meeting state standards, implementing new strategies and innovations and initiatives, documenting, being a nurse until the child can get to the real nurse, keeping up on latest research and technologies, parent-teacher conferences, grades, email, school events and activities, patrolling hallways and bathrooms, filing, and a million other things.

So how does a teacher do it all without going insane? Every teacher has to have some stress relief. My favorite was a Garfield poster on my wall. Every once in a while during the day, I would look it over. It said, "I've had it with reality. I want a fairy godmother." Just that little break with a bit of humor was often enough to send me on through the rest of the day.

Below are 10 more methods teachers can use to deal with stress.

1. Concentrate on your breath. Breath in through your nose for a count of four, then breath out through your mouth for a count of eight. Do this several times. It works like a mini meditation.

2. Take a quick walk around the halls between classes. It gets you out of your room and gives you some exercise.

3. Drink some water.

4. Daydream for a few seconds. Imagine that you're sitting on a sandy beach with the sun shining down watching the waves roll in.

5. Pop some bubble wrap.

6. Keep some fresh flowers on your desk. Enjoy them frequently during the day.

7. Hum a song.

8. Squeeze a stress ball.

9. Go to http://www.lime.com/meditation_room and click on your choice of rooms.

10. Keep some lavender scent on hand for its calming effect.

Always remember how important you are. This video from YouTube may help (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptw1VcV29-M).

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