Title: Rockin' This Teacher Thing, Episode 3, Teacher Self-Care

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In Episode 3, of Rockin’ This Teacher Thing…

10 Easy Ways to Build Teacher Self-Care Into the School Day

How do you keep your teacher mind happy? Teacher exhaustion is real but, is putting teacher self-care on the to-do list the answer?

Here’s 10 easy ways to build teacher self-care into your teacher workday so that you don’t have one more thing on the to-do list. 

In this episode, we discussed (time stamped):

  • 10 Easy Ways to Build Teacher Self-Care Into the School Day 1:00

Take a brain break with your students- 2:17

Get Some Air 2:50

Leave Early 3:45

Mr. Rogers It 4:53

Secret Treats 5:52

Private Jokes 6:30

Smelly Markers- Just for you 7:37

Eat. Take A Lunch 8:05

Pee and Pee Often 8:37

Don’t Negatively Compare Yourself To Others 9:32

  • Closing and reminder of free download. Thanks For Listening!!!! 12:24

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  • Top10 Ways To Build Self Care & Joy Into Your Teacher Work Day (Free PDF Printable)

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Hey teacher friends, this is Angie and the Rockin’ This Teacher Thing podcast show.  The podcast for early primary teachers that rock their classroom everyday. In today’s episode let’s talk about why teacher self-care is so difficult and how we can make it part of our teacher work day.  You’ll get 10 easy ways to practice self-care during your teacher work day. Some of these ideas are going to surprise you. You’re going to want to pick one or two for the week ahead because taking care of ourselves is the most selfless thing we can do, but we sure don’t need one more thing on our to-do list. That’s for sure.  So let’s jump right into today’s short, sweet and made just for you episode. Here we go.

Okay teacher friends, let’s hit the ground running. Teacher self-care, I don’t know about you but some days it’s just seems like one more thing on the to-do list . It’s like, I’d rather just go watch Netflix which is not on one of our top 10 for today because these are 10 tips that you can do during your teacher work day. It’s not breaking into your regular life. Because let’s face it the time that we need self-care is during our teacher work day , most of us, or the majority of the time. That’s when we need to practice a little self-care. So today I hope you choose two or three of these tips to practice this week. Give us a comment in the comments and let us know which ones you chose and how they worked. Maybe other teachers might want to try the same thing. Just for your reference I have a free a free printable with all ten of these on so if you’re doing something that you can’t write them down, no worries, I have a PDF for you. It’s kind of a cute little PDF and so that is available for you in the show notes. Let’s go ahead and just dive right in.


The first one is to take a brain break with your students. A lot of us do like a “Go-Noodle” a lot of us do like some sort of movement for our students and that’s great sometimes. Sometimes we just sit down and take a little breath during that time but one of the best things we can do is get our own body moving and that really helps with the stretching and the breathing and it just is something good you can do for yourself is moving your body. That’s number one.


Number two, when your class goes out for recess do you just like run to the bathroom?   Yes? Well running to the bathroom is fine but how about step outside a different door where there are no recess goers. Just for 30 seconds, breathe in, feel the air come into your lungs breathe it out can you get some of that school classroom air out and get some of that fresh air in. It’s amazing how even 30 seconds of stepping outside and seeing what the rest of the world is doing, really can help us to have a clear attitude, bring us back to ourselves. It’s kind of like a little form of meditation especially if we do some breathing during those 30 seconds.  

So that’s number two. We’ve done, take a brain break, go outside for 30 seconds. 


Number 3.

Plan on leaving and do leave early at least one day a week. Sometimes we have to plan it, – I am going to leave early on Wednesday.  So that we know that when we walk out the door on Wednesday, early, our classroom is ready. We leave it all behind. We don’t think about it. Leaving early and having everything ready to go sounds like sometimes that sounds even more stressful for me.  But I guarantee just even a half hour of just you time.

 Sometimes I would just go sit in my car and close my eyes or read a book for 30 minutes before I went home to my own children because I needed that time. Instead of being in my classroom I stepped out,  because let’s face it there’s always going to be something in the classroom. Take some time for yourself. Leave early. 

  Next one is number 4. 


This is going to be one of those ones, you’re going to think,  okay she has lost her mind. But it’s true. Invest in some really good socks and/or change your shoes when you get to school and then change them back out. Kind of like Mr. Rogers used to do?  Remember with his sweater and his shoes? It’s amazing how when we change our socks or our shoes, when we get to school, it really sets a different mind frame it makes it makes us feel fresh and ready to go. Then when we switch back into our real socks or our home socks, it just it really does something for our mental attitude there’s something magical about the foot. So try it out. Somebody try that out for me and let me know how it went. I think you’re going to be surprised. It’s weird.


Number 5. One of my favorites.  You need treats just for yourself.  Like, a secret stash of treats that your students don‘t know you have. That you sneak them every once in awhile.  Right? Sneak those treats. If you need a little bit of a something something, have it in your desk. Give yourself a little treat.  Take a deep breath when you’re having it and just give yourself a little affirmation, “I am enough. I am awesome. I am doing good work,” and give yourself a little treat. 


Next one number 6.  This is going to sound a little cruel and I used to do it a lot so it kind of tells you what kind of teacher I was.  Make your own little private jokes. I had one, I’ve never shared this. I used to have one that when students talk to me and they were saying something that I was like “What in the hay are you saying? I don’t even know, what is happening am I in an alternate universe?”  I would just say to them the word “neat”. Oh neat neat. Sometimes it didn’t even make sense with the conversation. I would just say “neat,” because in my mind I would be saying neat. N-E-A-T – never ever answer them. It’s like it’s not worth it Angie just don’t answer them to say neat and go on because you could be here for a half hour. So I would just have a little private joke for myself.  I know cruel, but hey, it got me through. Brought me a little joy. Hope it brings you a little joy.

Number 7


Use smelly markers.  Now I know some of you us smelly markers. But have smelly markers that are just for you. No children are allowed to touch the smelly markers. They’re just for you. They’re for your own private enjoyment,  just for you. We need some things that are just for us in our classroom and smelly markers are just special. They’re so coveted by everyone and they’re just yours. 


Number 8.  Here’s another one I was very very bad at. Here it is, take a lunch. Eat! Fuel yourself back up. Take some time, sit down, be thankful for the food in front of you, try to eat something nourishing and eat lunch. My lunch sometimes,  and it was bad, a box of Cheez-Its. I got kind of heckled for that. Teacher friends out there that know what I’m talking about. But you do better! You take a lunch.

 Next one.


Pee and pee often. How many times have you been in your classroom and you’re like “I cannot wait till recess. I cannot, I cannot wait!”  Yet we do and then it’s not, it’s not healthy it’s not healthy for our bladder it’s not healthy for our body it’s certainly not helping helping our focus and our attention because that’s really all we can think about. You need to be drinking tons of water which I did not include in this because we know, drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, but pee and pee often. Just step out in the hallway and say to  somebody walking down, whoever, I didn’t care, “Step inside my classroom I’ll be back in 30 seconds literally 30 seconds.”

Number 10. 


This is huge and this could happen in and outside your classroom and that’s don’t negatively compare yourself to others. Remember you are stepping into your classroom everyday giving your all. You are not the teacher down the hall you are not even the teacher that you’re going to be in 5, 10, 15 years. You are you today, and you are giving your best. Give yourself some grace and say, “I am enough. What I’m doing right now is good.”  Now I know a lot of you are saying, ‘But I could get better.’ True. Can’t we all. But right now you are who you are you are. You’re what you are supposed to be and just live it. Don’t compare yourself. That’s my word of wisdom for you -don’t compare yourself to others, or to yourself even. 

 I used to say to my students,  some days I would write something on the board and it would be really messy and I would go, “Wow, that’s that’s kind of messy but you know what that’s my best. Yesterday my handwriting was really good.  Today my handwriting is not so good but I am still giving my best for some reason my handwriting looks pretty sloppy today. I’m still giving my best.”

 That’s what I want you to kind of think about too. Some days your best is amazing and sometimes your best is a little less than it was the day before. That’s okay. Just keep doing your best. Okay so that’s your top 10.

Take a brain break, go outside for 30 seconds and get some fresh non-school air into your lungs.  Number three was, plan on and do leave early from school once a week. Number four is get yourself some awesome socks or shoes and change them in and out before and after school.  Mr. Rogers it, is what I like to say. Number 5, have a stash of secret treats just for you. Number 6, make your own private jokes. I know!!! Number 7, use smelly markers just for you.  Number 8, eat. Take lunch. Number 9, pee & pee often. Number 10, the biggie, don’t negatively compare yourself to others. There you go my teacher friends, top 10 ways to take care of yourself during the school day so that you don’t have one more thing on your to-do list.  Remember the best selfless thing you can do, is to take care of yourself. We need you. Alright teacher friends I hope you found at least one self-care tip you could start using today in your classroom. Remember the most selfless thing you can do is to take care of yourself. 

To help you I made the PDF poster just in case you couldn’t write it down. It’s okay for you to download and keep.  It’s in the link in the description and so make sure you get that downloaded. Let us know what you’re doing to take care of yourself during the teacher work day. Until next time I will see you in two weeks on a Tuesday. Until then keep rocking this teacher thing.

Hey teacher friends, it’s Angie again. Thanks for joining us today if you like today’s podcast leave a review and make sure you hit the Subscribe button so that you get notified to all the new episodes coming out. Remember to get today’s free download, “The Top 10 Ways to Work Self Care and Joy Into Your Teacher Day”  by visiting my website Making The Basics Fun under the podcast tab. Today’s episode is episode 3. You can also find me on Instagram under MakingTheBasicsFun and RockinThisTeacherThing. Until next time keep rocking this teacher thing and God bless. Goodbye.  

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Angie K

Angie K

I love to help teachers create an amazing teacher life.
I've taught for 25+ years and I want to help you find joy and energy in each day.

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