Teacher Well Being



hi professor and welcome to my four-month plan for teacher well-being this program is designed for everybody who works in the school from the front office to the cafeteria all of the custodians out to the bus line everybody who works in a school could really use some self-care right and some well-being so we're gonna start off I envision um doing having four opportunities of probably at 10 or 15 minutes realistically in a staff meeting if my principal will give me that much time so these are designed to be really small chunks of information that teachers can take away and digest that I thought I might supplement with weekly emails actually in between sessions so in the first month we're going to talk about why self-care is so important how we as caregivers are particularly vulnerable sometimes when you're busy taking care of other people it feels selfish to take care of yourself so we're gonna talk about we're also going to talk about secondary trauma and the risk of burnout we'll go in a little bit more about what secondary trauma is you know when you're exposed to the traumatic events that are happening to other people how you can internalize that what are some of the symptoms of secondary trauma and then we're going to talk about the risk of burnout how burnout makes us useless and sometimes forces us to find new jobs some of the things that we can do to avoid burnout maintaining physical health work-life balance all of these things can help us take better care of ourselves make us on the inside more fit to deal with other people's trauma in the second month we're gonna talk specifically about mindfulness mindfulness can be scary to people people think it's kind of whoo-whoo they don't understand they they automatically think that you're like going to force them to be a Buddhist but really mindfulness just allows us to put space between what happens and how we respond to what happens so we are responding rather than reacting this is particularly important when we're dealing with students who have dealt with trauma who can escalate into tiny tornados and hurricanes in our classrooms it's super important that we not escalate with them and that is one of the benefits of mindfulness it allows us to sort of stay a step below on the crisis cycle I like the image of the upstairs and downstairs brain and I would show also the video of Dan Siegel's brain model with using your hand and your thumb and the amygdala and all that so staying how we can stay in our downstairs brain is by utilizing mindful tools the first one and the easiest tool is breathing taking deep cleansing breaths clearing out stale air in our lungs really helps the vagus nerve it helps regulate I love this slide of breathe and and as I develop the power point specifically for this activity I would put this slide in in several places and train the staff to breathe whenever they see it and that could actually be then like printed out and hung in the staff lounge or in the bathrooms in the transportation office wherever people need to remember to breathe the third month we'll talk a little bit more specifically about mindful activities for example mindful journaling which really is just journaling right just getting things out on paper in a private place nobody has to read it or anyone can read it your therapist can read it whoever but it's really just between you and the paper I like this prompt by the time my head hits the pillow tonight I intend to feel like I really write what a great way to start the morning starting the morning with intention helps you realize that intention during the day right even just saying it out loud can help you manifest that make it a reality during the day another favorite mindful activity of mine is taking a rainbow walk walking wherever you are I'm really paying attention to your surroundings noticing the colors noticing the smells and the sounds looking specifically for colors of the rainbow and then to take it a step further you can take paper and pencil with you or using your iPhone you can take pictures of the things that you see and then draw them later which is what I opted to do because I don't really have time during the day to just stop and draw but I have a couple of seconds walking through school way halls going to the get my haircut watching in classrooms and so I took pictures and then drew them later I didn't use color in them because I have absolutely no artistic skill but I feel like showing staff my drawings maybe it will help them feel better about their own drawings and then I'd like staff to commit to one activity that they'll try two or three times a week for a month even if it's just breathing with intention if it's a two minute mindfulness activity from a nap and a couple times a week whatever they're gonna do I'd like them to write it down sometimes writing things down helps people stick to it and again I'm gonna send these emails maybe a weekly in between our sessions just reminding staff and maybe sending out some encouragement some positive words in the fourth month we're basically gonna review what we've done over the the last three months right we're gonna talk about secondary trauma again review the importance of breathing we're also gonna talk some more about mindfulness and then I'd like to take a page out of fostering resilient learners by sours and whole Kristen sours talks about avoiding burnout by paying attention to our health by exercising weekly and then eating correctly by loving not just other people which were really really good at but also loving ourselves and doing it consciously and without like feelings of shame right and then professional competence what are the things that we can do to make us better at our jobs no matter what our jobs are and then feelings of gratitude acknowledging the things that you're grat you are grateful for can actually alter your mindset making you more grateful for other things strange how that works well I also want to talk about obstacles and successes obstacles are real things there are things that keep us from being successful in our mindful practices and our self-care practices so what are they probably time right feeling stupid not knowing what to do but mostly time so I think that when we start sharing obstacles people will see that there's a commonality and maybe we can work together to go overcome those obstacles for example I don't have time to do a three minute morning meditation well maybe if everybody gets to work five minutes early we can do something like over the PA system something like that and then I want to talk about successes even little successes like I got up this morning five minutes early and I did some yoga stretches in my living room just like two minutes of them that's a wicked success so that's how I plan to spend the four months thanks very much for your attention and here are the references I used by

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