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In today’s society, the importance of self-care is so crucial — especially when you’re in a profession that requires you to give more to others than you should to yourself. It is very vital that our own personal self-care doesn’t suffer as a result of our professions.
Because of this, I was certainly curious to see how different people in different professions take care of themselves in and outside of their work.
Recently, I got the chance to interview one of my great friends, who is a phenomenal teacher and cares very deeply about what she does. Moreover, it was only right for me to see how she is able to balance the art of giving back to her community and make the time to take care of herself in the process.
In this interview below, you will find different ways to practice self-care as a teacher:
TCB: What is your name and profession?
My name is LaTasha and I am a 5th-grade science teacher.
TCB: How many years have you been doing this profession?
I am going into my 5th year this fall!
TCB: Why did you choose this profession?
I believe I was called to this profession. Teaching wasn’t something I wanted to do in middle school. I remember saying in my ELA class in middle school that, I never want to be a teacher.
Originally, my major in college was Pre-med. However, after talking it over with God and not having the easiest time with all my classes, I felt teaching was what I should have been majoring in from the start. Also, looking back, my life experiences played a part in having the desire to teach and have a positive impact on the next generations.
TCB: What do you think you would be doing instead if this profession did not exist?
I haven’t thought of this. But, if I did not enter the teaching profession I would have been in Business or Marketing.
TCB: Is this profession something you see yourself doing for the rest of your life? Why or why not?
I do see myself being in the education profession my whole life, however I don’t see myself teaching my whole life. This is something that I knew from day 1 of stepping into the classroom. This year, I am taking some steps in the direction that I want to go career-wise! I am getting more into the curriculum development aspect of education along with coaching teachers. I am excited about these new opportunities!
TCB: What positive things do you look forward to in your profession?
Some positive things in my educational experience are the students and staff. The students I have been able to teach are amazing and it is so great to see my 1st class go to high school this fall! I have also been blessed to work with an amazing teaching staff along with an amazing administrative staff.
TCB: What negative things do you not look forward to in your profession?
This is not necessarily a negative thing, however, I think grading is my least favorite thing ha! It takes tons of time. However, it is vital for students and families.
TCB: In your opinion, is self-care selfish? Why or why not?
I don’t think self-care is selfish AT ALL! My mindset is, how can one take care of other people if they aren’t well emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally.
Related Post: 11 Brilliant Reasons Why Self-Care is Not Selfish
TCB: Why is self-care important in your profession? Why or why not?
Self-care is important in the educational field because I am taking care of children. They really notice EVERYTHING! As an educator, it is a very physically and mentally demanding job.
Physically, from standing up to teach multiple times a day and aggressively monitoring student work during the independent practice of the lesson. Mentally, because educators are making many decisions in one moment, from addressing an off-task student, teaching the lesson, and ensuring all students are engaged.
Therefore, self-care is vital in this profession because our students also get to see a little of the world through my eyes.
TCB: How do you practice self-care within your profession?
I listen to music during the school day, from time to time, while I am grading. This helps me mentally when the day is eventful.
Sometimes, I take a break from my teaching duties and may have a fun conversation with a co-worker or pop into another teacher’s classroom to see what students are learning in different subjects. Visiting another teacher is always fun for me because the students are hilarious!
TCB: How do you practice self-care outside of your profession?
Pre-COVID I practiced self-care by going to the gym 2-3 times a week after work. Now, I go for daily walks with my husband and do weight workouts.
I make sure that I eat foods that make me feel good physically – so a lot of fruits and veggies and whole-grain foods. I choose nights where I am not going to work once I get home.
Massages are also great!
And just spending time in prayer with the Lord helps me and keeps me going.
TCB: How do you take care of yourself mentally within/outside of your profession? Do you have any tips to share?
I take care of myself mentally by listening to music, journaling, talking with a family member or friends, and cleaning (I am a cleaning crazy person, but it helps me SO much!). From time to time I will do a social media detox, just to reground and regroup.
I think it is vital to know when you need to do one of these things for yourself. If you don’t, it can negatively impact those with whom you interact with. Know your limits.
TCB: How do you take care of yourself physically within/outside of your profession? Do you have any tips to share?
I take care of myself physically by eating well and working out. I love to be active and find new things to do.
For tips, I’d say to always find a way to be active, whether it is walking or yoga. When you feel good physically, you feel better about yourself and how you look.
TCB: How do you take care of yourself emotionally within/outside of your profession? Do you have any tips to share?
I take care of myself emotionally by always being intentional to laugh every day. Laughter is so important and making sure I laugh daily always makes me feel good emotionally.
No matter the craziness of your job, always find a way to laugh about it or about life. Life is full of ups and downs, yet it always helps to find the bright spots. Finding the bright spots helps your perspective.
TCB: How do you take care of yourself spiritually within/outside your profession? Do you have any tips to share?
Jesus is the center of my life. I strive to live a life that reflects that. I make a daily choice to surrender my life to the Lord every day.
Ways that I take care of this within the education field is being intentional about Devos and prayer daily. As well as have a verse that I meditate on. Teaching is service and it is an act of social justice.
Faith is vital to lean on daily. It keeps you sane with the kiddos and daily work interactions. Ha!
TCB: Does social and/or digital media have an impact on self-care in your profession?
Yes, I enjoy following different people on Instagram with a positive message about any area in life. I love following what’s happening in the world or in entertainment. I also love following things about self-care and knowing yourself.
TCB: What self-care practices would you recommend people in your profession do whenever they use or overuse social/digital media?
I think people should know their limits. They should know who they are and where they are trying to go. Using Social Media is not a problem, but when it begins to get in the way of career goals or distracts you from working in excellence, one should reconsider social media use.
TCB: What are some examples of stressful situations that you’ve dealt with or have to deal with within your profession? How do you practice self-care in those stressful situations?
Stressful situations in my profession vary from day-to-day and week-to-week. A stressful situation I’ve been in is making the deadlines with other things popping up. We always have various deadlines throughout the year, however, it is stressful when other tasks pop up that need to get done by the same day or right at that moment.
Time management for me has been key in these stressful situations. I always make sure I am working to get all tasks done 1 to 2 days in advance in case anything pops up. I was able to make this call because I know my work ethic and what does and doesn’t work for me. Don’t be your own reason for added stress.
TCB: Are there any self-care exercises, self-care books, or self-care ideas you can recommend to anyone feeling stressed within your profession?
Some books I have read that have helped me with career stuff are, Letters to a Young Teacher by Jonathan Kozol, How Successful People Think by John C. Maxwell, Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success by John Wooden and Jay Carty, and Good is Not Enough by Keith R. Wyche.
TCB: What do you like to do during your free time when you’re not working in your profession?
During my free time, I spend time with my husband, family, and friends. I love taking small trips and outdoor activities like volleyball and kayaking.
TCB: Are there any products, activities, or recommendations that you can share with others on how to take care of themselves during their free time away from this profession?
Being around kids you learn all the newest trends. They keep you young, don’t be afraid to go have fun and do things that make you laugh and feel good about who you are during your time off. It will make you an even better person and teacher when you return in the fall because you feel good about who you are as a person and you are ready to take on the year.
TCB: In closing, what advice would you give others if they were interested in pursuing this profession?
Get ready to have a blast getting to know yourself more through teaching amazing minds. Get ready to be challenged in all the ways that will make you a better teacher and team member. Stay humble and hungry.
There are a lot of beautiful gems that we can all take away from this interview, even if we are all not teachers. Hopefully, this interview has given you some insight into the teaching profession and its relation to the importance of self-care. Feel free to use some of this advice to help you in your own self-care routine in your profession.
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Are some of these points relatable to you within your own profession?
How are you taking care of yourself within your own profession?
Please let me know down in the comments below.