Why Taking Care of Yourself First Actually Improves Entire School Sites

As a teacher, there are so many reasons to speed up and keep upping the pace to achieve more and “teach more,” but let The Teaching Well lay out a few reasons why your focus on self-care (and slowing down sometimes) will make a difference:

  1. The Social Emotional Role Model of our classroom is us:

Humans learn through example. On a basic level this is mimicking behavior but neuroscience calls it Mirroring. All of us have specific neurons in our brain that react and replicate the body language of someone else. When you come into your classroom, you set the stage for how students interact with each other. Being able to keep your cool in emotionally heightened situations on a consistent basis is the difference between your students learning how to work together or triggering one another. Regular Sleep, a Mindfulness practice and regular exercise can make a difference.  

2.              Student Achievement Increases in calm classrooms.

A study done at Stanford showed that students who were in calm environments where they felt “safe”, scored higher on tests. With the drive for data in our schools this fact alone makes the case to provide teachers with the tools they need to stay resilient so our students brilliance is captured on these state tests.

3.              Ed tech and Linked Learning are based on Teacher Implementation and Relationships: Our nation is committed to finding that next style of learning to build a stronger work force for the future. Whether it is Edtech or Linked Learning, two ways that state level education organizations or companies are trying to turn the tide, having teachers on the ground who understand the product or can build and maintain the relationships with local companies is the difference between a great idea that gets lost in action and a great idea that makes a difference.

4.              Community Stability is based on teacher sustainability.

12.5 million dollars is what Oakland Unified alone spends on re-hiring, training and recruiting new teachers.  And these are only dollar amounts. Can we put a number on the relationships built with families, the field trips or tutoring programs left behind, the pieced together knowledge of best health clinics, who and how to call CPS, the grocery store that gives teacher discounts, the way Tyree best learns his math. If you aren’t there, who is going to pass it on? Our students also lose. Their loss is not only an adult in their life that they relied on for emotional support,  but also that sense of community that comes from know the students above and below them had the “same” experience.

We’ll discuss more about the power behind teacher stability in our next piece. In the midst of an ever changing world, and one in which many students face daily trauma, teachers can be a powerfully stabilizing force in the lives of students, IF they can weather the rigors of teaching and stay in the classroom. That’s our goal at The Teaching Well: keep teachers joyfully and healthily in classrooms. Can you see it?

Join us at the Well!



Kelly Knoche