I find that in my practice as a teacher it is important for me to keep my mind and body prepared for the physical and emotional demands of each day. There are a few practices that I am committed to on a regular basis. The first is my yoga class twice each week. Yoga strengthens me, and has increased my ability to balance and breathe in a mindful way on a more regular basis. The stretching activities work out some of the stressors that would otherwise build up in a job that keeps me on my feet about 90% of my day. The second regular, committed activity I do is a workout that combines weight lifting with low impact aerobic dance. Regular exercise helps me build strength, have fun and manage stress in a positive way. It keeps me feeling strong so I can be a good role model for my students.
There are a few other healthy body and mind habits that I strive to do regularly, but am not currently doing as often as I would like. First is a morning meditation routine. I do get up early to drink coffee, occasionally jotting down notes about my teaching practice in a journal. However, my real goal in getting up early has been to do some stretching and “real” meditation. I guess I prefer a kind of “coffee meditation.” And the last healthy mind and body habit I would like to get to more regularly is a brisk walk. Right now I get in a walk once or twice a week and I’d like to get a walk in five or six days of the week.
These habits help me be a better teacher, and adult role model. These habits also help me manage the physical and emotional stress of teaching in a healthy way.
If you have ideas about how to keep physically and mentally ready for teaching, please make a comment below!