Emotional Wellbeing for Educators

Emotional Wellbeing for Educators

1 August 2022 • Words by Samantha Weitzberg 2 mins

August always signifies the end of summer. For educators, it also means it’s time to prepare for the upcoming school year, including planning lessons, setting academic and social-emotional goals, and contemplating the classroom setup. And as part of your planning for the classroom, it’s important to focus on it not only as a safe space for children to learn but also as your work environment. Does the space work well for you? What emotional wellbeing habits and personal items might make it calm and safe for you, the educator? 

The pandemic resulted in learning loss, trauma, and increased academic demands. Many educators across the world have experienced a higher workload and stresses that can contribute to burnout. To help support the emotional wellbeing of educators, we’ve put together a four-week Moshi Mindfulness for Educators calendar. Each week includes Mindful Monday, Tune In Tuesday, Wellness Wednesday, Thoughtful Thursday, Feel Good Friday, and Wind Down Weekend. The tips and ideas shared in this calendar are easy and doable in any environment, whether you are sitting on the beach, prepping your classroom for the new year, or spending time at home. 

Educator wellbeing can take on many different forms. The first step in planning a wellness routine is to take some time to reflect on what that might look like for you. According to Dr. Lilla Dale McManis, when educators practice more healthy behaviors, their stress is reduced and they’re better able to cope with the stressors they do experience. From eating a healthy meal to taking a five-minute walk, small healthy changes that are both attainable and enjoyable can be instrumental in preventing burnout. 

Here are a few steps to help you get started:

Imagine yourself in your classroom

Reminisce on experiences in the classroom when you felt calm and at ease. What types of activities do you envision? 

While deep breathing, notice sensations in your body

Where in your body do you feel the most relaxed and where do you carry tension? Think about times during the school day when you can close your eyes for just 30 seconds to tune in to your body. 

Set clear boundaries

The classroom is also your office and with that comes some space that is just yours. What would make your space feel calm and safe? Are there items in that space? What elements help you visualize peace and happiness? 

Plan a wellness conversation for the first weeks of school

Having a discussion early on with your students about how they take care of themselves and teaching mindfulness strategies will help them to be more aware of what increases their physical and emotional wellbeing. Also, it will humanize you and help to build empathy in your students. 

Samantha Weitzberg

Samantha Weitzberg, RYCT, RYT, is an early childhood teacher, yoga instructor, and mindfulness leader living in New York. She is also a first-time mom to a baby boy, but has been a puppy mom for a while.