Mississippi Teacher Corps

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

required blog: relaxing outside of school

I'm not going to make any claims that I've figured out the best way to take care of myself outside of school, but I'm certainly trying. Here are my thoughts:

-Take care of yourself physically. This is the most important thing you can do for yourself and for your students. My mood is significantly better at school when I've eaten and slept properly. Make sure you get enough sleep at night, even if it means putting off grading of papers or something. Eat well. If you don't feel like cooking every day, make a big batch of something tasty and healthy over the weekend that you can save in the fridge for the days you come home and don't have the energy to do anything more elaborate for a meal than pop some food in the microwave. Also, do whatever type of physical activity helps you unwind. I'll often go running as soon as I get home from a long day at school and can't stand to think about doing school work. It clears my head.

-When you finish doing school work for the night, devote at least a little time winding down by doing something low-energy that you enjoy. Read a book, watch videos, eat ice cream, whatever is fun and relaxing for you. It even helps you sleep better.

-Front-load your week. This is not a matter of choice for me; my school requires me to hand in detailed lesson plans for the whole week each Monday morning. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to do it, but taking an hour or two on a Sunday to figure out what I'm doing (not down to every last detail, but at least a general idea) each day of the week makes my evenings less stressful. It means that other than taking a few minutes on a weeknight to put together a powerpoint or make up some practice questions, I don't have to devote much time to lesson planning during the week. This leaves me with time to focus on other things, like calling parents, grading (at least in theory), and of course sleeping.

-Talk to people. Socializing helps me a lot when I'm under the weather. Do something simple like meeting up with people to make dinner. If you're not around other MTC people that you can hang out with, call your friends and family who are somewhere else. They'll love to hear from you, and they'll remind you how awesome you are for doing this job and will offer tons of sympathy if things aren't going well.

-Don't feel guilty about doing nice things for yourself. If you don't do nice things for yourself, you'll probably wind up going crazy.

Now playing: The Knack- My Sherona


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