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The Special Language of Toys


They say that Math is an international language.  Well, I think toys are too.  Some of my most beloved toys from when I was a child are the same kinds of toys that many kids love today. My favorite was definitely a doll. Her name was Drowsy and she had blonde hair, and her body was made of super soft material that was pink with white polka dots.  She spoke some phrases when you pulled the cord on the side.  She was the best thing ever to cuddle when you were sad or needed help falling asleep. Sure there are computers and iPads and all kinds of other fancy, schmancy things these days but when it comes down to it, I think kids especially love things that you can cuddle and things that you can play with that allows you to use your imagination. Don't you agree?


10 Ways to Manage Teacher Stress

Teacher stress.  Is it any different than any other kind of stress?  Well, yes, and no.  Stress is stress and many people have very stressful jobs.  So what makes teacher stress unique?  For me, it comes down mostly to decision fatigue.



Decision fatigue is a real thing!!! Do you realize just how many decisions you make in a day as a teacher? Especially if you are a teacher of primary students!  If you are a Mom you will have even more questions asked of you and decisions to make.

So, what's a teacher to do?


Psychology Today (2011)  describes it this way:  (Click here to read the whole article.)



Those two ways are to SNAP! or GIVE IN!  That happens all the time in classrooms around the world in which the "snap" is to tighten up the rules or take away a desired thing until behavior improves or just give in, in which case, classroom management suffers.

In the classroom, I try to have my routines down solid.  Any, seemingly minor issues, I head off before they become big.  Effective and clear planning is so important so you don't have that "behind the 8 ball" feeling. You know the one I am talking about!!

But today, I wanted to talk more about what you can do at home for yourself that hopefully will help you feel more in control, less stressed and happy.  It starts with taking decisions away. Well, not taking them away but reallocating them to a better time so that your day-to-day decisions are less.
So while being on your feet all day is so tiring, the mental fatigue ends up being the worst kind of fatigue because of all the decisions we are making each day in our classrooms.

I came up with 10 Ways to Manage Teacher Stress and it all starts at home. (There are affiliate links in this post for your convenience. Click on the pictures to see more.)

Since teachers are constant planners (we have to be!) I have given you some "planning" to do at home.




I'm a big coffee fan but I also love tea - especially on a cool Fall evening.  I have special mugs that I love and when I plan my morning coffee time and my evening tea time, I am at peace with the day. 



Meal planning.  Yep, you gotta do it!  Unless you have a personal chef at home, meals need to be planned.  Why?  It's the one question that can cause you all kinds of grief when someone calls and says, "What's for dinner?" after one of THOSE days.  I love these containers. They are great for lunches, dinners, leftovers - you name it. Even Math! :)







I know, I know.  This can be a tough one.  I just went through a couple of things this year which made  exercising really tough.  But, I know how important it is, so I needed to start back. Planning for exercise is the only way to make sure it's done.   Put it on your calendar.  Find a time that works for you. I recently designed a new home office as my yin-yang space.  I wanted to work towards this work life balance even more and sitting too long isn't good for your back or your body!  My office is now  1/2 work and 1/2 exercise/mindfulness area. I love it!!!


This is my exercise - take a moment side.  I have my yoga mat under the bench and my iPad ready to go. I have a Bosu ball as well.  There is a wonderful series of videos on YouTube called Yoga with Adriene.  She is fantastic!  Click the picture to see her Yoga for Teachers video.  There's even a 5 minute session that is so refreshing in the morning if you are pressed for time!







I designed the style/intent of this logo and then asked Barbara from GradeOnederful to help create an image that I could then put on canvas.  I love it!



Here is where the creativity happens!  :)


Plan a place to spend a little bit of time each night relaxing. If you have the words RELAX somewhere like over your tub, how can you not see that not so subliminal message? What's your favorite relaxing place?


It's so important to get outside. More and more people are hiking.  If you want to hike in wet or dry weather you need to be prepared.   Even just a simple walk outside with your dog for 15 minutes is  good enough to get some exercise and smell the fresh air! Do you have a nice place outside where you like to spend time?


This gratitude journal is my favorite. It's a quick way to identify 1 thing you are grateful for each day and it includes positive quotes.


I always have a notebook handy just to jot things down.  I pick one that inspires happiness and growth. That's why I like this one.  It's not a list - it's notes to self. Our brain can only take so much!


Let's face it. Sometimes - okay, a lot, we need some convenience in our life.  I love one stop shopping whether it be a big chain store or online.  Anything that can save you time and be convenient is worth it to me.  Why not have one place to go where you can grab a book to read, stream a movie or buy a gift for someone's birthday for next week.  I like to have convenience. I love PRIME! Do you have a favorite place or online site that you like?



I love these cute little tabs for your hangers.  You can plan an entire week of clothes. Viola!  No early morning decisions to make for what to wear #ootd for a whole week! Do you plan your outfits for the morning ahead of time?

So, you see, pre planning the home and life decisions, and being an effective school planner, may make it easier for you to be able to work through all those questions from your students each day without increasing your stress level. These are a few of the things that work for me!  Oh, and #10.  I did not forget.  Just. Be. Still. I love this sit still pillow.



Feel free to share your work/life tips and tricks in the comments. We could all use a few tips!

If you would like see more, I have a Teacher Balance resource and some Mindful Resources for your students available on TPT.  Click below.








Interactive MINDFUL Notebook for Diversity

It's been a while since I wrote about my Interactive Mindful Notebooks and how teaching mindfulness in your classroom as part of your social and emotional teaching can dramatically improve children's happiness and help them to learn.  A wonderful side effect of all that is that classroom management issues are greatly reduced.

I've been thinking long and hard about how I could extend that learning. Teachers from around the world have been messaging me and leaving feedback asking when I was going to post another set.  I created the Interactive Mindful CHRISTMAS set so that students could keep learning kindness and self awareness in the busy season of Christmas. (What better time, really?) I was going to initially focus on personal and social responsibility but then realized that there was a more pressing need out there, that of diversity and inclusion.  Here I added some concepts of personal and social responsibility into it as well. That is how this new edition was born.



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