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Bytesize 6: Teacher Self-care

In the 6th NET Section Bytesize we would like to focus on teacher self-care and introduce you to the next sets of guided reading 'lite' videos. 

1. Teacher Self-care

It’s a buzzword most of us have likely heard, whether it be in a news article, in a friend’s post on social media, or in an advertisement for the local spa.  It can relate to a wide variety of activities depending on your unique context and needs.  Self-care for educators is even harder to pin down - what does caring for yourself look like when you’ve made a career out of caring for and nurturing the needs of others?

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, along with the Collaborative for Social Emotional and Academic Learning (CASEL), surveyed the emotional state of teachers in March of 2020 and found that the top five most mentioned feelings were anxious, fearful, worried, overwhelmed, and sad.  It is not a coincidence that negative emotions are spiking at the same time as unplanned, emergency distance learning.  Physical isolation, nonexistent boundaries between work and home life, and inconsistent expectations could all be contributing to added stress and emotional turbulence for teachers.  

The Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence lists the following five reasons why educators’ emotions matter significantly in their work, whether they are teaching online or face-to-face:

  • emotions matter for attention, memory, and learning;
  • emotions matter for decision-making;
  • emotions matter for relationships;
  • emotions matter for health and well-being; and
  • emotions matter for performance.

It’s clear that educators’ emotions have a distinct connection to their work, perhaps more so than other professions.  In light of this, it is even more pertinent for educators and administrators to find moments in the day to care for themselves holistically, especially when sitting behind a computer screen for multiple hours at a time.  In the following are “tidbits” and resources for personal self-care that are specific to the context of teaching online, broken down into the categories of physical care, mental care, and social care.   
Adapted from  Cirpriano, C., & Brackett, M. (2020, April 7). Teachers Are Anxious and Overwhelmed. They Need SEL Now More Than Ever. Edsurge. Retrieved from https://www.edsurge.com/news/2020-04-07-teachers-are-anxious-and-overwhelmed-they-need-sel-now-more-than-eve

Some more readings if you are interested: 

Teacher Mindfulness

This second article from the Greater Good Magazine details ways that mindfulness supports an overall healthy lifestyle: Suttie, J. (2018, October 24). Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation Is Good for Your Health. Greater Good Magazine.  Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_ways_mindfulness_meditation_is_good_for_your_health

Also, of interest might be the following apps. 

Calm – Meditation and Sleep (free)

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/calm/id571800810

Headspace – Meditation (free and paid versions)

https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app

And if apps are not for your, but you would like to use podcasts, the following links might be useful as well. 

Mindfulness – a book with an eight-week programme that includes ten meditation tracks 

https://soundcloud.com/hachetteaudiouk/sets/mindfulness-a-practical-guide-to-finding-peace-in-a-frantic-world

Take care and if you wish to have more self-care information, please click here to see the document. 

2. Guided Reading 'Lite' Videos

The next guided reading 'lite' videos for the fifth units are also available for:

- P1 Where am I?
- P2 Souperman 
- P3 Amy's Diary

For PLP-R/W schools see the link below:

https://nets.edb.hkedcity.net/individual.php?p=102

For Space Town schools see the link below: 

https://nets.edb.hkedcity.net/individual.php?p=104

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