Does any of this sound vaguely familiar? You:
- Go to work sick because it’s too much work do do sub plans.
- Try to squeeze all your appointments between the hours of 4:00 and 5:00 PM or on your days off because that’s the only time you can go and even then you will probably be late.
- Have eaten at least three meals in the last month standing up/at your desk/cold/at a cafeteria table with 23 of your best, diminutive friends (check all that apply).
- Bring grading to your kiddos soccer/lacrosse/baseball games or recitals or any other outing that includes friends and/or family
- Pay for classroom items out of your own pocket because your students need them.
- Don’t feel like you will ever get caught up on everything.
- Don’t feel like you have enough to give to your family and friends because you left it all in your classroom
- Don’t feel like you are “enough” for your colleagues, students, family or friends, but most importantly, for you.
We chose this vocation (and yes it is a vocation) because we wanted to make a difference. Yes it’s hard and maybe it doesn’t pay as well as other professions but every day we get to go into work and do something that matters. Every. Single. Day.
The problem is, sometimes, we forget that in order to do the things we need to for our students, family and for everyone else we hold dear in our lives, we have to be healthy. We have to be healthy across the board. Mind. Body. Spirit. Relationships. They all need to be healthy.
How do we keep ourselves in balance?
It’s not about spending our waking hours binging on bubble baths and Netflix, although sometimes we may need that. It’s not about maxing out our credit cards on chocolate. It’s about creating routines and systems in our lives that allow and encourage us to focus on our health and sets a daily expectation that gives us the energy, stamina and happiness we need to be able to do the things we need — and want — to do.
This is how we are going to revolutionize education.
Taking Care of Teachers was created specifically for this purpose.
The program is designed to meet you where you are in your current circumstances without the need to upend your life to implement happiness-enhancing activities. It is a practical, actionable approach to move us toward controlling the things we can and putting the rest to the side; getting the support and the permission you need to put you first; and taking care of your own needs — be they financial, physical, mental or spiritual — before you take care of everyone else’s.
How the program works
Taking Care of Teachers is an online program featuring authentic connections with fellow teachers and built-in support where you will create individualized self-care programs in a guilt-free environment. We will be using familiar technology such as email, video chat, Google Classroom, Facebook, and the Remind app to provide instruction, discussion and communication.
The program is offered quarterly with three different monthly themes (i.e. one per month). Each theme is chosen for its scientific link to happiness and self-care and will include topics including:
- setting boundaries
- time management
- building healthy relationships
- nutrition and exercise
- creating an attitude of gratitude
Here it is, step-by-step:
Step 1: You decide you are important enough to invest in your own self care
Step 2: You sign up for Taking Care of Teachers (at the bottom of this page)
Step 3: You receive a welcome email from Happy Fix giving you an overview of the program for the quarter you signed up for. A week before you start, you’ll receive information on joining our private Facebook group and signing up for the Remind app, in addition to joining the Taking Care of Teachers Google Classroom.
Step 4: On the start date, you and your cohort receive the first month’s overview. It will include:
- An overview of the monthly theme and how it relates to self-care
- The “Why” behind the activity and how it is supported by science
- The first week’s activity broken down into easy-to-follow steps
- A reflection page for your Self-Care Owner’s Manual Entry (SCOME) to evaluate if you will incorporate this activity into your daily activity
- Each week, you will receive a new activity that scaffolds the prior activity. Each week you can evaluate what felt like self-care and what felt like a chore. It is SELF-Care, after all.
- In the middle of the month, we will have a 45 minute group Q&A to see what is working and where you need further support. These calls will be recorded for those who can’t make it live.
Step 5: You complete the quarter and decide if you would like to continue as we will be covering different topics and different activities. More importantly, you are a happier person. You developed tools that help you take exceptional care of you and you wonder why more people aren’t doing it. You, my friend, become a Happbassador to everyone around you!
This program is designed to build and to be highly individualized. After all, we are all different and happiness and self-care will look different to different people. The main objective is to create a healthier and stronger you.
Worried that you’ll get busy and forget to do the daily activity?
Got you covered. You know the Remind app we are all so fond of using with our students? Guess what? You are the student now. You will get reminders daily to, in the words of Nike, Just Do It.
Worried about support?
Our private, invite-only Facebook Group is your space to ask questions and to give and get the support you need to be successful in your self-care journey. Plus every month we will have an opportunity to grab our favorite beverage and chat (albeit virtually) about any obstacles or struggles we are experiencing.
I know that this is a new perspective, that it’s okay to take care of ourselves first. In fact, it’s more than a perspective, it’s a necessity. Science says so. You can check.
Aren’t you tired of merely surviving? What if I told you that implementing these routines will help you thrive instead of just survive? Take a chance and invest your time and money in something that really matters. YOU.
If you have any questions or are not sure if this is right for you, message me via Facebook, Twitter or email. I’ll be happy to answer any questions.
Ready to stop crappy and spread happy?
This journey will take you out of your comfort zone to a better place. The activities are challenging and purposeful, and I know from experience, the challenge will be worth the reward. My promise to you is that, regardless of which happiness tools work for you, you will find increased levels of happiness at the end of our journey together. I can’t wait to start! Sign up and let’s do this!
– Stacy Menzies, Happy Fix Chief Happbassador and Taking Care of Teachers Instructor