How Teacher Self-Care Can Benefit Students

“Children learn and imitate behaviors by watching and listening to others.” –Kylie Rymanowicz

It’s no surprise then that your students are learning how to love themselves by watching how you love yourself.

In my first year of teaching, I shied away from self-love and self-care because I feared that it was selfish. 

I felt like self-care meant that you were cocky, narcissistic, and selfish. 

Little did I know, however, that by not prioritizing self-care my students suffered.

If this sounds like something you have experienced then you are not alone.

In an industry where we are expected to serve, it is easy for teachers to prioritize others over themselves. 

But today we are going to cover how incorporating self-care can benefit your students.

In this article we will discuss:

  • What is teacher self-care?
  • Why is teacher self-care important?
  • How teacher self-care can benefit your students

So grab that cup of coffee and let’s get started!

What is Self-Care?

Before we talk about teacher self-care ideas for back to school, we need to get super clear on what self-care is. 

Self-Care is the action of preserving or improving one’s health. 

In other words, it is prioritizing your health first so that you can better preserve your energy and perform better as a teacher. 

It’s the ability to make habits that make sure all the different aspects of your health are taken care of. 

However, what many people don’t know is that there are four different kinds of self-care. These include physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual self-care.

I talk all about the different kinds of self-care in the article “The Ultimate Guide of Self-Care for Teachers.” So if you want to learn more, click here to read it now. 

Self-care is a healthy habit that helps you maintain an optimal state of health.

Now that we have discussed what self-care is, let’s talk about why it is important.

Why is Self-Care Important?

There are many reasons why teacher self-care is so important!

For instance, did you know that 45% of teachers claim to work more than 50 hours a week?

With that in mind, it’s no wonder that 4 in 10 teachers are leaving the profession in the first 5 years. 

Hence why self-care is so important!

To have a fulfilling life as a teacher, you need to prioritize your health first.

Otherwise, you will continue to feel exhausted, overwhelmed, and ready to quit the profession you so desperately love. 

Prioritizing your self-care will also help you:

  • Keep burnout at bay.
  • Stay energized throughout the day with clarity.
  • Model to other teachers that prioritizing your self-care is okay and should be done.
  • Help create a movement where teachers take back control of their lives in a way that helps better serve education.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to learn more click here to read more about the importance of self-care in my last article. 

How Teacher Self-Care Can Benefit Students

Now that you know what self-care is and why it is important let’s talk about how teacher self-care can benefit students. 

Show Up Energized

One of the ways teacher self-care can benefit students is that it allows you to show up to work energized and ready to go.

If you have ever neglected your self-care, you might recall feeling frazzled, burned out, and exhausted.

However, after maintaining your self-care habits, teachers feel energized and refreshed at the beginning of the day.

This is extremely important when it comes to teaching because students can sense when they feel overwhelmed.

Plus if you have ever had a “bad day” and that same day your students had a “bad day,” then you might note how students feed off of your emotions.

No matter how great you are at faking it, oftentimes students can sense when something is wrong.

Hence the importance of self-care and showing up each day energized and renewed. 

Trust me, this is a benefit for both you, and your students!

Be the Teacher You Knew You Could Be

At the end of my first year of teaching, it felt like I had blinked and the year was over.

That summer after some much-needed rest I reflected on my teaching the previous year. This is when I realized that I hadn’t been the teacher I always knew I could be because I was constantly overwhelmed.

With inconsistent boundaries and priorities, it’s no wonder that many teachers end the year defeated and just trying to survive.

By incorporating consistent and effective self-care, however, you are cutting down on the overwhelm and burnout.

This means you can show up each day enthused and be the authentic engaging teacher you always knew you could be. 

Students benefit when we show up as our authentic selves as opposed to a burned-out teacher on autopilot. 

This is why showing up as our authentic self is one of the ways students can benefit from teacher self-care.

Model Boundaries and Priorities for Students

Another way that teacher self-care benefits students is it is an opportunity for teachers to model healthy boundaries and priorities.

As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, students learn about themselves by watching how others interact with them.

It’s no surprise then that students will learn how to set boundaries and priorities by watching other adults and their priorities and boundaries.

As a teacher, we cannot control the home-life of our students.

Some students will have amazing parents who model exceptional boundaries and priorities.

While others may have families who struggle with setting consistent boundaries and priorities.

Either way, by modeling consistent boundaries and priorities, you are ensuring that your students have an adult in their life who advocates for healthy well-being.

This provides students with some tools they will need to prioritize for the rest of their lives.

Model Self-Love for Students

The next way how teacher self-care can benefit students is by modeling self-love to students. 

It’s no secret that self-care is an act of self-love.

You are prioritizing yourself, being in intune with your needs, and advocating for your boundaries.

That’s why it is so important to incorporate self-care in the classroom for your students to see.

When you are open with your students on how you love yourself in and out of the classroom, you are showing them that self-love is needed and accepted.

Students might then implement self-love in their daily lives by watching how they love themselves. 

Mindfulness

The final way that teacher self-care can benefit students is the idea of mindfulness.

When you are taking the time to love yourself and prioritize yourself, then you are cutting through the noise and preventing overwhelm.

When you are less overwhelmed you can show up mindfully.

Mindful as in the present and the moment.

Students need us to be mindful in the classroom so that we can listen to them. 

When we are mindful, we are opening a safe space in our hearts for our students.

A place where they will feel seen and heard.

And that is one of the best gifts a teacher can give to their students. 

Overview

Thank you so much for reading to the end!

As a review, in this post we discussed:

  • What self-care is
  • Why self-care is important
  • How Teacher self-care can benefit students

I hope this post was the message you needed to hear and reminded you that self-care is not selfish. 

It is so beneficial to our students in so many ways. By incorporating self-care, you are influencing a future generation full of self-love.

Thank you so much for reading, and before you go I want to invite you to join our community.

Here at the Present Teacher, we strive to help educators who:

  • Are tired of getting burned out
  • Can’t be consistent with their self-care plan
  • Don’t have the time for their self-care
  • Have a hard time making boundaries and priorities during the school year
  • Want to impact future generations by prioritizing their self-care by modeling it to our students

So if this sounds like you, then I want to invite you to get on the waitlist for our Self-Care Membership.

In this membership, you will join a community of educators that strive for consistency in their self-care habits while also holding each other accountable.

Click here if you are interested, and I can’t wait to see you there.

Happy Teaching!

The Present Teacher