May We All Be Well.  Especially Educators.

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by: Andra Brill, Ph.D.

The past few years have indeed been a challenging time for educators, students, and parents alike, with the concept of a “normal” school year being completely redefined. It’s crucial now, more than ever, to prioritize rest and self-care as the academic year winds down. The constant vigilance and adjustments required during the pandemic have taken a toll on everyone, particularly educators who have had to maintain stability and safety in the learning environment.

For educators, the summer break offers a valuable opportunity to recharge. This can be an essential period for reflection, relaxation, and renewal. The idea of the “new normal” can include creating a balance between staying prepared for the challenges ahead and allowing oneself the space to slow down.

Here are some practical tips for educators to consider as they approach the summer months:

  1. Embrace Rest: Actively schedule time for restful activities that help detach from the demands of the school year.
  2. Reflect and Recharge: Use the time to reflect on the past year’s experiences, focusing on what was learned and how it can shape future teaching practices.
  3. Nourish Your Interests: Engage in hobbies or interests that you may have put aside. This can be reading for pleasure, nature walks, or any other activity that feeds your soul.
  4. Connect with Others: Spend quality time with family and friends, which can be deeply restorative.
  5. Seek Professional Development: If you feel up to it, summer can also be a good time to engage in professional development opportunities at a relaxed pace, focusing on areas of personal interest rather than necessity.
  6. Prepare for the Year Ahead: Begin the new school year with a fresh perspective, integrating what you’ve learned about teaching, learning, and resilience.
  7. Professional Support: Don’t hesitate to seek support from peers or mental health professionals to process the stress and grief of the past years.
  8. Healthy Routine: Establish a summer routine that includes plenty of sleep, nutritious foods, and exercise.

May we all be happy.
May we all be healthy.
May we all accept this moment, just as it is.
May we all find rest.’

About the Author:  Andra Brill

Andra Brill, Ph.D. (she/her) is a writer and innovator in the growing field of mindful education.  Her work, based on neuroscience, psychology, and Buddhist traditions, supports educators and families to create balance and well-being.  Before starting her own consulting firm, Andra spent many years as a literacy coach and early literacy specialist in public schools. She has served as senior faculty at Passageworks Institute since 2012 where she helped develop the Transformational Leadership Workshop and the Trainer of Trainers course for SMART in Education, an 8-week mindfulness course based on MBSR.  Currently, Andra is the Curriculum and Wellness Director for Bright Mind Enrichment and Schooling and an advisor to Whole School Mindfulness.  Andra is a passionate advocate for cultural responsiveness, justice, and equity in the communities she supports.



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