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Building Teacher Resilience: Mindfulness for Teachers

I don’t know about you, but these last few weeks have been overwhelming to say the least.  To put it mildly my teacher resilience is already being challenged– going back to the classroom, not going back to the classroom, some kids coming back to the classroom– none of it is going to be easy.  And none of us can really prepare for anything certain.

Except I’m certain it will be uncertain.

For our own peace of mind, we need to practice getting comfortable with the uncertainty.

And finding ways to remind ourselves that we have been resilient before has never been more valuable.

So here’s what I’ve been doing to help me get more practice with getting more comfortable with uncertainty and building my teacher resilience reserves…

A three-part morning routine recipe….
1. Some kind of movement
2. A few minutes of quiet
3. Open-ended Journaling 

This routine recipe doesn’t make me fully at ease, but it offers me time to think, take care of my body and my mind.  It provides me with a more whole routine.  It allows me to take care of myself in a way no one else can.

So I invite you to create your routine recipe for self-care and well-being.  And if you’d like to share it, please email me!  I’d love to hear each of your specific “ingredients” that help you to create something nurturing for you!

As part of my recipe, I’d like to offer you access to this week’s guided mindfulness practice all about knowing we can do difficult things.

A little disclaimer about the guided practices….

These recorded practices are not perfect, they are recorded live and I try to speak from the heart. I wanted to just put that out there because these are meant to be a real conversation between two teachers.

It’s also may be more beneficial to just LISTEN. It’s not necessary to watch the video to get the best experience of the practice.

So what do you do beyond these twenty minutes of sitting still?  What happens when these worries keep arising?

Here are three techniques you can use to bring this practice into the “real world” (of our classroom and beyond)…

  • Schedule check-ins to worry… schedule time daily or weekly to just worry or think or problem solve. If you know you have time set aside, you may be less likely to let the ruminating thoughts jam you up all day long.
  • Journal…  Write it out. Whatever comes to your mind, get it out on paper. If you want to keep a journal, great. If you want to burn those little worries and “let them go” feel free to do that as well.
  • “Serenity Prayer” It…  Use the Serenity Prayer to figure out what’s “yours” to worry about and what is out of your control. When you keep those things that are within your locus of control front of mind, sometimes things can seem much more manageable.

When we start to work through challenges in a more present moment way, we can feel more optimistic instead of continually being on the roller coaster of uncertainty. We have the ability to build our teacher resilience in the midst of this difficult time. And that doesn’t mean that we just deal with unfair, unethical, or unhealthy conditions because we are tough and can handle it.

True teacher resilience is bouncing back from difficult situations while making sure that you maintain your own health and well-being for the long haul.

If you are looking for more ways to bring these mindfulness for teachers practices to your classroom for you and your students (virtual or in person) check out this resource: 10 Ways to Move from Chaos to Calm in Your Classroom.

For more consistent support do help each other now and for whatever the future brings, check out the We are Teaching Well group.

If you’d like to get weekly teacher wellness sent directly to your inbox, please subscribe to Teaching Well’s Weekly Well Wish.

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Danielle Nuhfer
danielle@teachingwell.life

Here are a few titles I go by...teacher, student, gardener, runner, nature-lover, writer and meditator. I care deeply about my own journey to wellness and want to inspire others to walk this path. Inspiring others to discover the value of mindfulness, positive psychology and other holistic health practices is my life's work.

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