Self-care for teachers: #CdnELTchat September 24, 2019

image source: #CdnELTchat

written by Bonnie Nicholas

As always, during the live chat, participants had a lively discussion responding to the questions posted by our moderator, Augusta Avram. And as always, people who couldn’t participate in the live chat added to the richness of the conversation afterwards through the #slowburn format. Thanks to everyone who participated! A couple of themes emerged from the ongoing conversation: #ELT can be stressful work, and we need to take care of ourselves and support each other. Some ideas that were shared included having an emergency self-care kit, remembering that “no” is a complete sentence, making  time and space to debrief, blocking off me time, advocating for ourselves as well as for our students, setting boundaries, and remembering the importance of exercise and physical health.

#CdnELTchat returned from our summer hiatus on September 24th, with a timely discussion on teacher self-care. We were thrilled that Patrice Palmer (@positiveupside) accepted our invitation to be a guest moderator. Patrice is well-known for her work as an advocate, adult educator, trainer, and writer. As she writes on her website, “Teachers need to put themselves first and adopt self-care strategies to reduce stress, build resilience, promote physical health and increase their well-being.”

Patrice shared a favourite quote from Eleanor Brown, “Replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” Wise words! We’d like to thank Patrice for generously sharing her time and expertise with us.

These were the questions that we used to ignite discussion during our chat:

Q1: What are some beliefs around what it means to be a “good teacher”  that impacts or impedes self-care? How can we challenge these beliefs to positively influence our well-being?

Q2: Most of us went into ELT because we care and want to make a difference. Our work has a lot of inherent stress. How can we learn to set boundaries and say no? 

Q3: Many of us have stressful work environments, with ever-increasing demands. How can we advocate for ourselves?

Q4: How can we carve time in our day for self-care?

Q5: Many of us are once again back in the classroom after the summer, hoping to avoid the stresses and near burn-out that often happens as the term progresses. What’s one thing that we teachers can do to take care of ourselves?

You can find the tweets by searching Twitter for our hashtag, #CdnELTchat, but we’ve also collected the tweets from both the live and the follow-up asynchronous chat using Wakelet: #CdnELTchat Summary on Teacher Self-care

The #CdnELTchat team is looking for people who would be interested in facilitating one of our bi-monthly chats.  Please let a member of the team know if you are interested in co-moderating a love chat, or in collecting and writing the summaries which are posted on the BC TEAL and TESL Ontario blogs. Other provincial #ELT associations are also welcome to share. If you would like to volunteer, or have ideas for chats, contact any of us: Jennifer @jennifermchow, Augusta @ELTAugusta, Svetlana @StanzaSL, or Bonnie @EALStories.  Post ideas anytime on our Padlet,

Please join #CdnELTchat on Tue, Oct 22 @ 6PT 7MT 8CT 9ET 10AT to talk about Technology, Organization, Blended Learning & Online Learning with special guest moderator Rob McBride (@LearnIT2Teach)

BIO: Bonnie Nicholas (@ELTAugusta) is an enthusiastic participant in the bi-monthly #CdnELTchat as well as a member of the #CdnELTchat team along with Svetlana Lupasco (@StanzaSL), Jennifer Chow (@jennifermchow), and Augusta Avram (@LINCInstructor). Bonnie teaches LINC at NorQuest College in Edmonton.


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