Self-care for Teachers

The other day I ran into a teacher friend from a school where I consulted and I asked her how she was doing. She replied, “Busy. You know…that’s the way it is these days.”

It struck me how its become accepted and normal for a teacher’s life to be busy and full of home, family, work and other activities. As I thought further, I wondered what it was that she was busy with. I hope it was something that gave her satisfaction and fulfillment, but I most hope that she was giving herself enough time to rest and relax.

Maintaining this balance is a skill that each of us needs to learn and develop. There are so many things that we would all like to do, and even plan to do, but its just not possible to do it all. We might succeed for a short period of time, but in the long run, we are left tired and exhausted.

So how do we start incorporating self-care for teachers into our routine? I think it starts with knowing our priorities and making choices based on that. Learning to say no kindly and politely. Cutting down “to-do lists” or tasks that fill up our time without achieving much for us, or others. Here are a few areas in my life that I realized were taking up unnecessary time:

  • Dragging out preparing dinner so I can watch a TV show while I cooked. If I worked quicker, I can actually enjoy the TV show after I’m done – on the couch!)
  • Spending several unnecessary minutes every day emailing with students. I realized technology can better help me allow  more time to focus on teaching.
  • Looking for keys, shoes, and umbrellas. By allocating a specific location for commonly search for items, I can get where I need to be quicker.

Self-care for teachers can be penciled into our calendar. If we start being mindful of our schedules, we can learn to fit in time for manicures, bubble baths, reading, and more! 

Some food for thought:

  • What are some simple steps that you can do to bring more balance into your life?
  • How often do you schedule self-care? Is it enough?

Teachers are busy! That’s why Professional Learning Board offers 100% online self-paced PD courses. You can take them at your convenience and schedule them into your day at a time that works best for you. Browse the course catalog here.


Ellen Paxton is the Chief Learning Officer of Professional Learning Board. As a two time National Board Certified Teacher, Ellen has successfully designed and delivered research-based and standards-aligned curriculum to help teachers meet their continuing education requirements. Through, and, Ellen has established and maintained partnerships with several accredited universities, higher education institutions, teachers’ unions and state Departments of Education while overseeing curriculum development, alignment, implementation at the classroom level and strategic direction.