As a teacher, it can be easy to get caught up in the ‘busyness’ of the day-to-day work of the classroom, and difficult to find time to reflect on your health and put strategies in place to look after yourself. So, what techniques can you use to improve your own wellbeing?
Teachers who practice mindfulness in the classroom tend to be better organised, more attentive to students and better communicators, Monash University Associate Professor Craig Hassed says.
He says that mindfulness could be seen as a form of meditation but it’s also a way of being.
Research shows that when students learn to be more mindful, their mental health improves, they are more resilient and have better memory retention. They also tend to form stronger relationships and communicate more, Hassed says.
According to Hassed, there are both formal and informal practices of mindfulness. One simple strategy, he suggests, is before setting out for school in the morning, you make sure you punctuate your day with a full stop.
A comma, Hassed explains, may be a moment between classes where you give yourself 30 seconds to centre yourself, walk attentively to the classroom, or enter the room with purpose.
He says teachers can also practice mindfulness by being calmer in their interactions with students, and avoiding multi-tasking altogether.