Random Acts of Kindness Week is the third week of February, with February 17 designated as Random Acts of Kindness Day. Here are 10 ideas for teachers and students that can not only be fun, but help others to spread kindness:
- Create a kindness wall or bulletin board where students, teachers and staff can write various acts of kindness others can do and cross them off when they happen
- Fill a kindness jar with various random acts of kindness and have students and staff take one to do
- Put positive sticky notes on cubbies or lockers
- Start a bulletin board dedicated to acknowledging kindness students and staff have seen in the class and around the school
- Create and share a kindness calendar with a different act of kindness for every day of the month
- Begin a kindness coloring contest with students drawing examples of kindness
- Start staff meetings or the school day with an inspiring video such as this one featuring ALS patient Chris Rosati
- Have students write a positive story about another student
- Start a class or school fundraiser for a charity
- Remember to show appreciation to custodians and other support staff
Being kind is infectious; it will spread. Find all sorts of ideas for random acts of kindness you can incorporate into your classroom, school and your community at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/kindness-ideas/.
You’ve spent long hours preparing for your career in teaching. Research, studying, student teaching, creating lesson plans and interviewing can only prepare you for so much. Your biggest lessons will come from experience. We’ve gathered some tips to remember as you begin your teaching career.
Here is what you can expect to happen as a new teacher.
- Don’t wear your really cool clothes to school.
- Thinking that some or all of your students hate you.
- Watch others teach.
- You’re the adult in the room.
- Listen to advice and trust your gut.
- Expect to make mistakes.
- Empathize with your students
- Continue learning to better yourself
- Don’t let work overshadow your personal life.
- Always remember your motivation.
Being a new teacher will come with its ups and downs, but knowing that you are making a difference with your students is what makes up for it. You are going to do great.
As school returns from holiday break, teachers only have a few months left of the year. Of course, it sounds shorter when you say it out loud versus the actual amount of time that is crammed into those remaining months. For our third piece in this mental health and self-care series just for educators, we want teachers to take the wellness oath for the rest of the school year.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Then read this.
I will make sure that I am fit and well enough both mentally and physically to support my students effectively.
I am a great teacher. No matter how busy I get I will put my student’s wellbeing at the heart of my teaching.
I will seek support when my work-life balance is out of focus before the issue becomes serious.
I will support students where appropriate if they do not have emotional support from home.
I will take constructive criticism and feedback and let go what was not useful to my professional development.
I will continue to do things that I enjoy and make plans with friends, family, and nights out without feeling guilty.
I will look after my co-workers to check for signs of stress and be a support system for those who need it.
You got this. Be sure to read this as much as possible as needed. Summer break is approaching and you will make it. For more teacher mantras, visit here.
What encouraging words do you have for other teachers? Share with us below in the comments.
The stress and exhaustion of teaching can take a toll, even if you don’t realize it. Your mind is constantly running back and forth between teaching, meetings, emails, parents, and life at home. So when the weight of anxiety and stress get heavy, here are some easy self-care tips for teachers on those hard mental health days.
For an easy school pick-me-up:
• Healthy snacks
• Thank you notes
• Stress ball
For small breaks or prep times:
• Stretches to get your blood moving
• Small walk to get some fresh air
• Take a moment and focus on slowing your breathing
When you get home:
• Bake cookies
• Play air guitar
• Go for a walk
As a teacher, you love what you do and want to make sure everyone is taken care of, but don’t forget about yourself. Find a support system in other teachers to talk about their ideas, get exercise, and drink plenty of water. Share with us your tips you use for self-care.
Our Education Blogger is a public school teacher with over a decade of experience. She’s an active NEA member and enjoys writing about her experiences in the classroom.
Plan time is a vital part of a teacher’s day. It’s when the “magic” happens, or at least, it’s supposed to. If you’re like me, plan time mysteriously disappears, taken up by “quick” conversations with a colleague, getting students caught up on work, or communicating with parents, leaving you with little to no time to plan before your next class begins.
After a decade of teaching, I feel like I’ve finally figured out how to make the most of my plan time. While some are blatantly obvious, these 6 little nuggets of wisdom may be just what you need to take back your plan time.
Use A Planner
Find a tool to help you plan your week, month, year. Having everything in one place, and being able to see a week, or month, at a glance is helpful. Create a digital template, or make one by hand. Choose from one of the hundreds of editable lesson planner templates available like this basic lesson plan template from Angie Amos on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Shut Your Door
I know. It’s hard. You don’t want to seem unfriendly or unwelcoming. However, if you are swamped with grading and planning, this is one step you can’t avoid. If you feel it necessary, you can even make a little note to stick on your door explaining that you’d LOVE to visit, but you have work to complete. Uninterrupted plan time is precious!
Avoid Scheduling Meetings
Some of us have little control over this one. However, in my building, our plan time is OUR plan time. Plan time isn’t allowed to be used for IEP meetings, conferences, or evaluations. If you can, request that meetings be held at times other than your plan time.
Make A Plan Time Schedule
I know it sounds a little strange, but this one helps me stay on track. Each day I have a specific task I aim to complete. For example, Mondays I plan out my math lessons and Fridays I re-evaluate my upcoming lessons in case we lagged behind or got ahead that week. Also, I always reserve about 10 minutes each plan time for parent or colleague communication (save the lengthier conversations for an after-school conference).
If you have teacher’s aides, use them (please don’t ask your paraprofessional if they can help you with work, their job is to help students). If not, ask a parent volunteer to help throughout the week. Jobs like making copies, cutting, stapling, sorting, and hanging papers on bulletin boards are ideal for aides or volunteers. These tasks take up a surprisingly large amount of time, so let someone else help you out!
Recruit Student Help
Use peer tutors to assist students who have been absent or who need extra help with assignments. Offer peer tutors an incentive for their help.
Each school year and each day are different. See what works best for you. Don’t be afraid to protect your vital plan time.