By Njoli Brown
So here we are. It’s February and all of the emotions that the school year brings feel like they are compressed somehow by the cold. I think it’s commonly understood that self-care plays directly into the kind of care that we, as educators are able to give our students. But one of the built-in lessons we can give during this time is a capacity to self-reflect and to recognize when our equilibrium is askew. From here we can determine to take actions both in and out of the classroom to right our sails.
One of the things I’ve noticed is that, very often, we’re only associating the phrase “prep time” as an indicator of the time we put aside to prepare the room, our materials, our resources. But are we allocating 5 or 10 minutes to psychologically and emotionally prepare for the day? Did we walk away for 5 minutes in the afternoon to hit the “reset” button? Some deep breaths, some music that brings you joy, some stretches to address the parts of your body that need it, all of these things remind you that you are loved, by you.
The prep that I’m talking about isn’t an anticipation for things we imagine will go wrong. Instead it’s taking the time to observe yourself when you feel at peace so that you can recognize that feeling as you try to return to it at various points in the day.
Perhaps, as this becomes part of your practice, it becomes a part of your class’s practice as well.