Help for the Teacher Soul During this Stressful Situation
There is a lot of help (and overwhelm) out there about distance learning, navigating teaching during coronavirus, and tips and tutorials. But what about on a human level?
Are you having trouble focusing and needing to just zone out? And yet, you feel so lost and depressed if you just veg out?
Help is here. These are some ways to nurture your teacher soul while still feeling productive. Some days right now, you need rest blended with a rewarding feeling that comes from productivity and creativity.
This is for all of you teachers stuck at home during this tough, unprecedented time! You are stressed out and overwhelmed with everything on your plate. You need ways to soothe your soul, while feeling like you're not wasting your precious time while so much still needs to be done to help your students.
You may struggle to binge-watch tv or some other mindless activity that feels like a waste of time, but you just need a mental break from all the overwhelm of distance learning. Here’s something you may not be remembering:
Self-care is just as important as helping your students. There is a reason that on planes, before takeoff, they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask before assisting anyone around you. Think of self-care that way too. You need to take care of yourself first. Then, you can adequately support your students.
These are scary and unknown times; it’s OKAY if you need a little more self-care than usual. If you’re still reluctant to just sit around and binge-watch tv, here are some ideas you can use to relax and take care of your teacher soul, while still being productive:
SnowDay Magazine is a brand new creative lifestyle magazine just for teachers! Created by Math Giraffe, SnowDay is a premium book-style magazine that is available quarterly for creative educators of all subject areas and all grade levels. We are passionate about creativity inside and outside the classroom, and are focusing on fueling all the many facets of the teacher life & soul.
Each issue is a book-style magazine, and filled with beautiful pictures and inspiring articles specifically for teachers. Issue One includes things like:
If you’re not ready to pay for a physical issue yet, SnowDay offers a free 40 page "MiniMag" too! This sample magazine will show you the unique blend of life and soul that we offer in our full issues.
Enter your email here to sign up and be a part of the SnowDay teacher community. SnowDay will send over your free e-magazine, plus more to fuel your entire soul.
Whether you’re reading the free digital issue or a premium full issue, it’s perfect for reading in a bubble bath or curled up the couch with a mug of tea or glass of wine!
Look at Specific Hashtags on Instagram
Instagram can be addicting and make you feel unproductive if you’re not using it in a strategic way. There are plenty of ways you can use Instagram to inspire creative thinking, but one of our favorite ways is to explore hashtags. Here are some of our favorite hashtags to dive into as of late:
Listen to a Podcast while Moving your Body
This can be as simple as popping in your headphones, pulling up a podcast, and going for a walk around your neighborhood or folding a basket of laundry. You might want to listen to podcasts specifically for teachers; here’s a recent post from Math Giraffe, 6 Podcasts to Support You if You Teach Teens. Or, you might need a break from the world of teaching and just want positivity flowing through your earbuds. If that’s the case, here are some inspiring podcasts, we love:
Adult Coloring Books
This is a trend for a reason. Coloring has so many benefits for adults, too! According to Psychology Today, adult coloring books have been shown to influence anxiety levels and depressive symptoms.
You can find virtually any type of coloring page out there! Just go to Pinterest and search “free adult coloring page” and add your desired character/scene/quote/etc.
DIY Doodle Note Templates
This activity has similar benefits to the Adult Coloring Book trend, with one huge addition: this will jumpstart future lesson-planning, saving you large amounts of time in the future.
Creating something with your hands gives your brain an amazing emotional boost!
There is a blog post all about how to do it on the Doodle Note Club blog, DIY Doodle Note Templates. All you need is a pencil and paper, and a few simple stencils. You can just use jar lids and pattern blocks if you don’t have fancy stencils. Watch the video on this post for inspiration
Teacher-Specific Lifestyle Quizzes
On my SnowDay Magazine website, I made some online quizzes just for teachers! These free, fun quizzes help answer questions like:
These light-hearted quizzes will let you take a breather from this crazy world, and help you fuel your teacher soul!
You’ve most likely gone down a Pinterest rabbit hole, so you already know the creative space’s potential impact on your life. Optimize that by looking through and following specific boards.
For instance, let’s say you teach middle school social studies at a Catholic school. You love Math Giraffe’s content, although all of the math education pins don’t pertain to you. You can go to my “Boards” and follow only my Catholic Education board and boards for teaching teens, like Teaching Teens and Tools for Teaching Teens!
You can specifically curate your Pinterest Board to show exactly the types of pins you want to see! No more wasting time scrolling through meaningless content.
Now, we want to hear from you! What is your favorite way to relax?
Hello, everyone, and welcome to my page! Your teacher may have sent you here, or you may be a teacher or parent of a teen student in need of help right now. We’re navigating quite a situation here, but it will all be ok. It’s really tough to teach this age level without content-specific knowledge. Math Giraffe offers ideas, insights, resources, and teaching materials to guide you in teaching math creatively. But I’ve also been working on some posts for all different aspects of teaching teens (and pre-teens) lately.
We all understand these are hard and scary times, and students and teachers everywhere are adapting to remote learning. So, we want to provide tips and resources for you. (Note: this is more geared towards middle and high school. So if you have a teen or pre-teen stick around!)
First and Foremost…
Take a deep breath...that’s right..inhale, exhale. Our world is a little shaken up right now, but we will get through this, together.
The most you may have ever done for your child regarding schoolwork is help with homework. So, of course, you might be feeling overwhelmed with schools closed. First thing you need to do is get organized.
Resources to Help You Understand Remote Learning and Technology
Remote Learning includes embracing technology. Many classrooms have switched to Google Classrooms. Here are some resources to help you learn:
(If you’re a teacher, my friend Leah Cleary shares some great remote learning tips here.)
Extra Learning for Teens (That are FREE!)
6 Podcasts for Those of Us Who Love, Teach, or Live with Teen Students
“Teenagers are so easy!”
-said no one ever.
Teaching teens middle school and high school can feel joyful and rewarding most days, but can also frustrate you with one challenge after another. They go through so many changes and so many ups and downs at this stage of life.
Young adult brains are still growing. Contrary to popular belief, students’ brains do not stop developing after childhood (or even until partway through their 20’s!) and brains are also greatly influenced by their environment.
Teen brains are physiologically different from adult brains, and these differences need to be taken into consideration. To catch up on the neuroscience, read What Teachers Need to Know About Teen Brains.
Here are some podcasts to help you in your journey of teaching teenagers. Whether you’re trying to understand adolescents’ thoughts and actions, or looking for classroom tips these podcasts are for you!
1. Inside the Mind of Teens and Tweens
This podcast, for teachers, parents, counselors, or anyone who deals with teens goes into the science behind why teens think and act differently. Dr. Regina Lamourelle brings on guests, and together they provide insights and neuroscience behind the minds of adolescents.
2. The Unstoppable Teen Podcast
This podcast delves into details that can help parents, teachers, caregivers, and teens themselves to elevate daily life. It covers so many topics, ranging from essential elements of teen health to how teens can learn more effectively.
3. She’s Mindful Podcast
The hostess, Tina Mavadia, teaches moms and teen girls with Mindful Living to live better, stress-free lives. She discusses the highs and lows along with the challenges and rewards of parenting or teaching a daughter in their teen years. Each episode is easy listening, so grab a cup of coffee, go about your day and hit play if you have teen girls close to your heart.
4. The Google Teacher Tribe Podcast
This weekly podcast for K-12 teachers shares useful tips and tricks for using G suite and other google tools in your classroom. Their goal is to empower teachers to transform student learning with Google Tools.
5. The Creative Classroom
The host, John Spencer, hopes to help teachers transform their classrooms into spaces of imagination and wonder. These high-quality podcast episodes discuss things like how humor in the classroom boosts creativity and problem-solving, and making rest a priority in the summer.
6. Talking to Teens
This parenting podcast is directed for… you guessed it- parents of teens. However, I think this podcast is so relevant for teachers of teens, too. Afterall, you spend a lot of time with them, and can have a significant impact on their lives. This podcast centers on conversations with experts on the art and science of having conversations with adolescents.
Teaching teens requires some creativity and resourcefulness. I've set up an email series to send you some ideas, inspiration, info, and materials that will help! Click the link and enter your email to subscribe. Do you teach teens? Share your best tips or favorite resources below!
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