As educators, our habits can have a huge impact on our teaching effectiveness and overall well-being. The habits we develop in the classroom and at home can be beneficial or detrimental to our health and career success. That’s why it’s important for teachers to think critically about their habits – both good and bad – to ensure they are helping them reach their goals.
In this article, we’ll look at some of the habits teachers should cultivate to become more successful professionals and more successful at home. We’ll explore how setting boundaries around work time, prioritizing exercise, taking breaks throughout the day, and focusing on self-care habits can all help teachers stay productive while avoiding burnout. Let’s get started!
What is a Habit?
A habit is defined as an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary. Habits are formed through repetition and reinforcement and can have a significant impact on our health, productivity, relationships, and overall quality of life. For teachers in particular, habits can be especially important for managing stress and maintaining work-life balance.
What are Beneficial Habits?
It’s important to cultivate habits that positively support your well-being at home and in the classroom. Good habits such as setting boundaries around when to start and stop working each day, scheduling time for physical activity or self-care into your everyday routine, leaving work behind on weekends, or even taking regular breaks throughout the day can all help to maintain a healthy balance between being productive at school and having time to relax and recharge.
Examples of Beneficial Habits for Teachers
Strict Start and End Times
The habit of setting a strict start and end time for work each day is an excellent habit for teachers to get into. This can help to ensure that you don’t become overwhelmed with tasks or commitments and prevent burnout in the long run. It also allows you to devote your evenings (and weekends!) to leisure activities, family time, or simply taking some much-needed rest and relaxation.
Lesson Planning Time at School
Planning lessons can be a time-consuming task, especially for teachers who are just starting out. Setting aside a designated amount of time each day or week to plan lesson materials and activities will help to keep you organized and streamline your teaching process. The key to this habit is to make sure that lesson planning takes place during the school day and within contract hours or your hard start and end times for working.
Making exercise a priority is key to maintaining physical and mental health. Finding an exercise routine that works for you and making it a regular part of your daily habits is important. This could be anything from a morning run, weekly yoga class, or even just taking the time to stretch every day. Teachers need to release the stress that builds up from teaching, and exercise is the perfect way to do it. Creating a habit that ensures exercise happens daily means prioritizing self-care over grading and lesson planning.
Take a Break
Taking breaks during the day – while they may seem counterproductive – can actually help to increase productivity by allowing teachers to remain focused throughout their workday instead of becoming fatigued or distracted. Make it a habit to take a break every once in a while. Not only will your mind and body thank you for it, but your students will too. They need a break just as much as you do! A quick dance break, standing and stretching, or even an extra 10 minutes outside walking around can make a huge difference in your well-being and that of your students.
Take a look at some of the habits that I prioritize:
Habits can make a huge difference in terms of teachers’ well-being and productivity both at home and in the classroom. By setting boundaries around when to start and stop working each day, taking regular breaks throughout the day, prioritizing physical activity or self-care, and leaving work behind on weekends, teachers can ensure they’re keeping their workloads manageable while still finding time to relax and recharge.
Although habits are formed through repetition and reinforcement, it takes time to form new habits – so don’t be too hard on yourself if breaking old habits is challenging! Start small by establishing one new habit at a time until it becomes part of your everyday routine. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to incorporate habits that are beneficial to both home and school life.