As educators, our habits can have a huge impact on 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—good and bad—to make sure they’re helping them achieve 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 work-time boundaries, prioritizing exercise, taking breaks throughout the day, and focusing on self-care habits can help teachers stay productive while avoiding burnout. Let’s get started!
What is a habit?
A habit is defined as an acquired pattern of behavior that is regularly followed until it becomes 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 particularly important for managing stress and maintaining work-life balance.
What are beneficial habits?
It is important to cultivate habits that will positively support your well-being at home and in the classroom. Good habits such as setting boundaries for when to start and stop working each day, scheduling time for physical activity or self-care into your daily routine, leaving work for the weekends or even taking regular breaks during the day can all help maintain a healthy balance between productivity at school and time to rest and recharge.
Examples of beneficial habits for teachers
Strict start and end times
The habit of setting an exact start and end time each day is a great habit for teachers. This can help ensure that you are not overwhelmed by tasks or commitments and prevent burnout in the long run. It also allows you to dedicate your evenings (and weekends!) to leisure activities, family time or just much-needed rest and relaxation.
Lesson planning time at school
Lesson planning can be a time-consuming task, especially for teachers who are just starting out. Setting aside a designated time each day or week to plan your learning materials and activities will help you stay organized and streamline your teaching process. The key to this habit is to ensure that lesson planning takes place during the school day and within contracted hours or your heavy start and end of work.
Making exercise a priority is key to maintaining physical and mental health. It is important to find an exercise routine that works for you and make it a regular part of your daily habits. It could be anything from a morning run, a weekly yoga class, or even just making time to stretch each day. Teachers need to release the stress that builds up while teaching, and exercise is the perfect way to do that. Creating a habit to ensure daily practice means prioritizing self-care over assessment and lesson planning.
Have a break
Breaks during the day—while they may seem counterproductive—can actually help increase productivity by allowing teachers to focus during the workday instead of being tired or distracted. Get into the habit of taking a break now and then. Not only will your mind and body thank you, but so will your students. They need a break just like you! In addition, a short dance break, standing and stretching, or even 10 minutes of walking outside can make a huge difference to your and your students’ well-being.
Check out some of the habits I favor:
Habits can have a big impact on teachers’ well-being and productivity at home and in the classroom. By setting boundaries for when to start and stop work each day, taking regular breaks during the day, prioritizing physical activity or self-care, and taking time off work on weekends, teachers can ensure they manage their workload while still finding time to relax and recharge.
Although habits are formed through repetition and reinforcement, new habits take time to form – so don’t be too hard on yourself if breaking old habits is difficult! Start gradually by creating one new habit until it becomes part of your daily routine. With a little practice, you will be able to incorporate habits that benefit both home and school life.