Teacher self-care: a happy folder

Personal Pep Talk Teacher Deck – – 25% off with code GIVEAPEPTALK

When I have days that are so overwhelming and it’s hard to see the light in the dark, I am lucky enough to have colleagues I can talk to and a box full of strategies I can turn to. My students and I are working towards a class celebration when we reach 100 Acts of Perseverance. Along with working towards identifying those challenges that our mind pushes us through, we learn strategies to help get us through the various difficulties in each day.

In the middle of those moments when my eyes are about to burst into tears (and sometimes that still happens but for a different reason), I will open my happy folder, one of Personal Pep Talk’s Teacher mindfulness strategy cards.

From Personal Pep Talk’s Teacher Strategy Deck:

|Start A Happy Folder|
Keep a file folder where it’s easy to reach. Use it to hold notes of appreciation and love from students, parents, colleagues, and friends.
Look through those notes whenever you need a pick-me-up.

Sometimes the simplest of ideas can make all the difference. I started my happiness folder two weeks ago and have already opened it twice. Each of the items that I placed in the folder have special meaning to me and last week when I opened it, it reminded me of why I show up to work each day and the love that surrounds me.

About a month ago I was really sick and missed 4 days of work. When I came back and opened our read aloud I realized my sticky note had been replaced with a piece of paper that read I miss you. I almost started to tear up and asked my group of students who it was from. They all started saying me, me, me, until one finally said “it was from all of us.” Something so simple, meant so much. Having the bookmark in there reminds me that when i’m not there and on the days I might not be my best self, my students will miss me. It motivates me to always try to show up to be the person they need me to be each day.

I can’t wait to continue to add to my happy folder. It’s simple, easy, free, and effective 🙂 Everyone should start one!

This is just 1/60 of Personal Pep Talk’s Teacher Strategy Deck! If you’re a teacher in need of some self-care and mindfulness, I can recommend this deck enough. Below is a following excerpt:

If you’re a teacher, you are my people because I’m a teacher too. This deck is my passion project for you and for myself. I tend to choose teaching environments that are challenging and require some serious compassion, stamina, and grit.

Webster’s dictionary defines grit as mental toughness and courage and that’s exactly what this deck is all about. It’s about strengthening the grit we have, finding more of it when we can, and modeling that grit to give our student an example of persistence and tenacity. 

Grit is having the courage and willingness to keep going even when things get really hard. Imagine what it would be like to really help your kids find and embrace their grit! What an awesome way to set them up for success in life. As with everything we teach, we can only teach to the depth of our own understanding, so what better way to help them learn about and find their own grit than by modeling it and living it yourself?

Grit is like emotional resilience – the ability to weather any storm. As teachers, every day we have the unique opportunity to be able to help our students be more self aware and to navigate their emotions more mindfully so they can make choices for themselves from a calmer, more grounded place.  If we want our students to learn about and really accept their innate personal power, they need to have examples that make it real for them.  They need to see people who operate from that grounded space. They need models.  The strategies on these cards offer you different perspectives and exercises you can use to practice operating from that calm, grounded space more often.  As you do, not only will you feel more calm and more peaceful, you will also be modeling that calm, peaceful, and more grounded way of being for your students.

This deck is also about support. Teaching can be hard. It can take a lot out of us. It’s easy to stay in the bubble of our own classroom and keep to ourselves. It can be hard to admit when we’re not sure what to do or if we think we’ve done something wrong. When we struggle, we tend to struggle in silence. Of course we want to serve kids the best we can. Sometimes we can serve them better if we ask for a little help. To ask for help and admit that maybe we don’t have all the answers can feel really scary. We’re the teachers – we’re supposed to be the ones with the answers. “

Can’t wait to hear and see about everyone’s happy folder!

Ashley Boston

File Folder Ideas

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