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It’s starting to look like that time of year again—dwindling art supplies, paint-stained tables, teacher evaluations, and preparations for the end-of-the-year art show. We may start feeling the pressure to extend ourselves beyond our limits to meet deadlines, support standardized testing schedules, and impress administration with our art programs. Of course, this is all while balancing work and personal life. You may find yourself in a slump, burned out, or falling into the rabbit hole of negativity from colleagues who used to lift your spirits.
You can use this season of your life to reconsider how you treat yourself by making you your number one priority. You can begin discovering ways to recharge and be present for the one who matters the most—YOU. Surrounding yourself with a supportive circle of influence and taking time to rest, both professionally and personally, can positively influence your life.
Any art teacher who has stepped foot in front of a studio classroom full of learners knows there’s a lot behind that initial smile we put on at the start of our day. For some, it comes naturally, while for others, it can seem like a struggle even under the slightest hint of stress. If you are looking for ways to reignite your passion for teaching art, find excitement during your day, or simply add a boost to your attitude, keep reading to learn why you should reconsider your relationships with others and with yourself.
Feeling connected to others is a basic human need. Relationships with members of your art department, colleagues, students, and of course, personal friends and family can help you feel a sense of belonging. It is important to surround yourself with a circle of people who will be there to support you, lift you up when you are feeling down, and influence you to become a better version of yourself.
Who is in your circle of influence? Check out who you can connect with below:
Whatever ways you choose to build relationships will be personal. Think about who is present for you now. Also, think about how you might get involved with others who will not only support you but will add value by challenging you to level up.
Finding time to rest during your day may be tricky as a busy art teacher. The fast-paced nature of our job keeps us on our feet, plugged in for parent communication, logged into hybrid teaching, typing away at lesson planning, and hopeful that we can sit down in a quiet space during our lunch break. All of this can leave you feeling drained by the time the dismissal bell rings.
Striking a balance between your responsibilities as an art teacher, personal life, and true rest is important to curb burnout and recognize when to take that needed break and recharge. Resting means more than your bedtime routine. According to Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, “Sleep is only one part of the big picture. It’s only one of the seven types of rest.” In her book, Sacred Rest: Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity, Dr. Dalton-Smith shares the seven types of rest: physical, mental, emotional, social, sensory, creative, and spiritual. She explains that rest is more than taking a quick break during your day. Instead, “Rest is about replenishing, restoring, renewing, recovering, rebuilding, regenerating, remolding, and repairing.” Consider what your own rest looks like. Does it refuel your energy levels, or is it time to focus on other types of rest beyond bedtime?
Here are the seven areas of rest you can explore to meet your needs:
No matter what life throws your way, the only person who knows you best is you. Discovering who is in your circle of influence and surrounding yourself with people who can add value to your life may put you at ease when you need it the most. Learning how you can truly rest and recharge will invite you to embrace those simple pleasures that life has to offer. Being comfortable with putting yourself first may be an adjustment, but it is one that is worth your time and energy.
Who is in your circle of influence?
What recharges you when you give yourself permission to rest?
Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.