Are you a supply teacher, teaching assistant or residenital support worker looking for some help and advice? If so, you are the right place. Our blogs offer tips and tricks on everything from classroom management to interview tips and support, along with day in the life case studies from real supply teachers, NQTs and cover supervisors. They also give you an insight into what working for Smile is like, the ways which we support local communities and charities and the training and events that we offer.
Back-to-school anxiety is something that we know a lot of our teachers and support staff are dealing with right now. While we have tonnes of tips, we thought you might prefer to hear them from someone like you.
Enter Jessica Joan, one of our lovely supply teachers who moonlights as a Health and Wellness Coach for teachers. Below she shares her worries and her tips of keeping them a bay.
Here we go – the start of a brand new academic year! I don’t know about you, but I love being a supply teacher. It offers me the freedom to do the two things that I love in life - teaching and coaching!
Being furloughed over lockdown gave me the opportunity to focus all of my energy on my new coaching business and help teachers with their daily challenges of working from home. That means I haven't taught, or been in a classroom, for over 6 months. So, it's no wonder I'm experiencing back to school anxiety right now!
Since schools have opened their doors, each morning I get up early and ensure I am ready for 7:00 am, anxiously awaiting a phone call from one of the team at Smile Education. But that phone call hasn't arrived… yet! I recognise that the anxiety I experience each morning is because it is still uncertain as to when I will be asked to go back into schools and what I will be faced with when I do. I know once I'm back in the classroom I'll enjoy it and the anxiety I experience from then on will dissipate and disappear. But until that time arrives; I need to work on my anxious thoughts and feelings. Here’s what I do:
Firstly, I ensure I get to bed at a decent time the night before so I feel well-rested, as being tired can negatively affect my thoughts, my emotions and my behaviours.
I have a 'mood lamp' to gradually light up my bedroom for when my alarm goes off so I'm not waking up in the dark. I experience SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the winter months so this is a must-have for my self-care routine.
I diffuse calming and uplifting essential oils as soon as I wake up - Wild Orange, Bergamot and Peppermint are a nice blend to get me up and raring to go in the morning.
I drink a pint of water before my morning coffee to re-hydrate and kick-start my day with clarity.
Journaling about what's going on in my head and my heart is a great way to release negative energy. I also team this up with writing what I am grateful for and setting an intention for how I want to feel and the person I want to be that day; to promote positivity, optimism and fulfilment.
I move my body for at least 20 minutes every morning to get my blood pumping. Movement is another way to release negative energy and encourage feel-good hormones to flood the body, helping me to feel brighter and more energetic.
I meditate for at least 10 minutes - I use Headspace for guided meditations as they offer a wide variety of courses for all different challenges you may be currently facing, from stress to grief. Insight Timer is another great app for guided meditations, which you can get for free.
I listen to positive affirmations while I put my make-up on, which inspires positive thinking as I go about my day.
Anxiety is just a feeling that's been triggered by a thought, usually about what could happen in the future and is there to keep you safe from uncertainty. Experiencing anxious thoughts and feelings doesn't define you, it doesn't have to consume you, it doesn't have to ruin your life and it doesn't mean you are going to feel like this forever.
It’s important to remember that:
You are in control of your thoughts and feelings!
You can change the way you think, feel and behave!
You can still lead a happy and fulfilling life with self-awareness of your anxious thoughts and feelings!
How are you going to manage your anxious thoughts/feelings? Comment below.