Self-Care and Re-Energizing

Educators work hard to bring their best selves to the classroom every day while they juggle individual student needs, set ambitious goals, and often work long hours. Many teachers also face escalating job demands with few resources and, at times, work with students who face complex trauma, behavioral difficulties, and learning challenges. These stressors combine to make teaching one of the most stressful occupations in the U.S. (Gallup, 2014).

Teacher stress has been found to affect teachers’ health and well-being, job satisfaction, turnover, and even student outcomes (Greenberg, Brown, & Abenavoli, 2016). For this reason, it’s essential that educators take time to prevent burnout, promote health, and protect themselves from the negative effects of stress.

Activity: Self-Care Give One/Get Eight

Activity courtesy of Chicago Public Schools

By sharing and considering new self-care strategies, participants will practice social and emotional skills of relationship building and self-awareness. Once the activity concludes, participants will have nine self-care ideas to choose from and can commit to using one or more strategies as part of a self-care plan.

  1. Pass out the handout and give participants a moment to write their favorite self-care activity in one of the boxes in the grid.  Explain that if they don’t currently have a self-care practice they rely on, they can write something they would like to do to practice self-care.
  2. Ask participants to stand and move around the room, introducing themselves to partners as necessary and sharing their self-care practice.  Each time they get an idea from a partner, they should write it down on their grid until all nine boxes are filled.
  3. Once participants have several ideas to choose from, ask them to commit to using one or more of these strategies this week and report back to your peers on how it’s going.

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Self-Care Give One/Get Eight

This tool outlines an activity to support adults in self-care.

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