How to recharge your teaching batteries

Imagine having that Friday feeling all the time? Well, you won’t have to wait much longer because the Christmas holidays are nearly here. For many teachers, the Christmas holiday is the best time of the year. Not only do you get time off, you get all the festive fun thrown in for good measure. It’s a time to reboot and kick-start some fresh thinking.

But when you get some time to yourself, what do you do with it? Your wellbeing is number one and being well over Christmas is essential. Hopefully you have been looking after yourself over the term so you can actually enjoy the break. 

Our phones might take only a few hours to recharge but not us. We need longer and this involves plugging ourselves into a variety of activities to boost our wellbeing and fight off the effects of negative stress. Here are just a few suggestions for tender loving self-care (TLSC) that will replenish your passion, purpose and vision:

  1. Try to have your work planned and set up for the first week back in January.
  2. Don’t set any homework for the holiday – everyone needs a break and you’ll have a pile of marking to return to.
  3. Get out of teacher-mode. This is a holiday and not an extension of work so stop being a teacher and be someone else!
  4. Have a 1:1 with yourself. Spend time by yourself and embrace some solitude and bask in silence for some quality head space.
  5. Sleep – a teacher’s secret ingredient so get plenty of it.
  6. Read a book that isn’t related to teaching or CPD. Enjoy something light and relaxing to read, like a biography or fiction.
  7. Plan a tech detox and switch-off. Forget social media and FOMO (fear of missing out) – you’ve got a life to live offline. No work emails!
  8. Socialise! Friends have probably been on the bottom of your ‘to do list’ because you have been so busy but now is the time to get in touch and visit them.
  9. Create something by working on a project you’ve either neglected or do something new, e.g. painting, drawing, pottery or photograph. 
  10. Make some lists and get organised. Divide things to do into Must Do, Could Do, and Should Do and focus on what matters. Prune the to-do list!
  11. Your energy feeds off your environment so get outdoors and refresh your mind, body and soul in spaces that take you away from routines and normality to blow away the cobwebs.
  12. Ensure that every day is 100% school-free so your mind can roam free-range and go guilt-free.
  13. Harness your fresh mental energy and sense of perspective to think strategically about your career and what you want to achieve in the year ahead. Update your CV and be battle-ready.
  14. Choose to be happy! Look for something positive in each day and practising gratitude will provide you with a more positive energy.
  15. Watch Elf at least 5 times and keep saying, “Santa’s coming!”

Make the most of your holiday and make sure it is just that – a holiday that feeds your quality of life so that you go back to school 100% not 20%. And remember…..  Santa’s coming!

Collins. How to recharge your teaching batteries. John Dabell.


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