Teacher Well-Being: Take Care of Yourself in Order to Teach

Teacher well-being is essential to ensure better teaching for students and for the teacher's own health care. Learn more.
Teacher Well-Being: Take Care of Yourself in Order to Teach
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 01 July, 2023

When you think of teachers, many think of all the vacations they have during the year. Perhaps it’s true that they have a lot of vacation time, but if they do, it’s for good reason. Being a teacher is a profession that can be emotionally draining if you don’t work on your well-being. That’s why you have to take care of yourself in order to teach.

What many people forget is the frenetic pace that teachers lead every day both in the classroom and in their own homes. They manage to keep classes up to date, correct exams, prepare homework, coordinate with their colleagues, and hold meetings, among others.

When negative emotions overwhelm

The responsibility that the teacher has toward families, students, the educational center, and themselves is very high. However, this isn’t always seen from the outside.

If stress takes hold of the teacher, they may go into “threat mode”. Therefore, unconsciously, it’ll lead to behaviors that aren’t conducive to students’ learning and to their own physical and emotional well-being. In this way, the teacher’s health suffers and this can lead to serious problems.

A teacher scolding a young student.
Sometimes, teachers can get carried away by negative emotions, such as anger or anxiety. Sometimes, stress or deadlines burden them even if they’re well organized.

When students perceive the teacher with respect

When students don’t notice the anxiety or stress generated by the teacher, academic results improve. That is, when the relationship is based on dialogue, understanding, empathy, and respect. This also has a positive impact on the teacher’s well-being.

Of course, this doesn’t depend only on the teacher’s pedagogy, but rather on their attitude toward the class group. It’s their presence and demeanor that make the difference. If they’re enthusiastic, they’ll surely transmit it to their students; if they’re approachable, the youngsters will be as well; if they recognize and take responsibility for their mistakes, so will the children.

Keys to teacher well-being

If you’re a teacher, you know that it’s not easy, as you need dedication and a lot of time. This is in addition to the hours you already spend at the school to be able to exercise your profession properly. As a result, it can often feel like a stressful and demanding job. Because of all this, you may feel exhausted at the end of the course. To avoid this situation, take into account the following tips.

Prevent your fatigue

Recognize that you come first and that you must take care of yourself. To do this, you must meet your own needs. If you take care of yourself, you’ll be able to teach better and be kinder and more aware of your students’ learning. Reconnect with your enthusiasm!

Be your best friend

To take good care of yourself you must be your own best friend. Understand what’s wrong and look for solutions to make yourself feel better. Be compassionate with others, but also with yourself. That way, you’ll gain quality of life.

A teacher posing behind her students.
Resilience, confidence, communication, and, above all, emotional self-regulation will be key for the teacher’s well-being.

Always start with yourself

If you don’t start with yourself and what you need, you won’t be able to continue with others. Doing things for others is fine, but always to a certain extent. Set limits and don’t demand too much of yourself because if you exhaust yourself, you won’t be able to teach with quality.

Take a deep breath and count to 10

When you notice that your strength begins to falter, whether you’re at home or in class, stop for a moment, find a quiet place, and close your eyes. Then, count to 10 and take deep breaths. This way, your brain will start again and you’ll be able to see things from another perspective.

Remember to take care of yourself

Never lose sight of your own importance. You’re important to yourself, your family, your friends, and your students. If you don’t take enough care of yourself, you could begin to suffer emotional and relational problems, not only in your work, but also in your personal life.

Getting into that circle is dangerous and could worsen your emotional and physical health. So, do your part and start thinking about how you can prioritize yourself. That way, your students will be able to learn better and your well-being and quality of life will progressively increase. If there’s one maxim you should follow, it’s the phrase that headlines this article: “Teacher well-being: Take care of yourself in order to teach”. By remembering this phrase, you’ll never doubt how important you are.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Withaker, T. (2018) Mi Primer año como docente: Gestionarlo y vivirlo. Editorial: Narcea

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.