Last year, I had the honor of being a commencement speaker for UC Berkeley’s Graduate of Education, and I spoke about self-care. In my speech, I made the argument that educators must take care of ourselves if we aim to be effective. We must be warriors, not martyrs.

Nearly one year later, I find myself drowning and needing to remind myself of this again. It’s ironic; my English 9 class is currently focused on the pursuit of happiness, while I’m working 70+ hours a week, de-prioritizing time with friends, and binge watching Netflix.

I’m trying to get better. I set alarms on my phone for 4:20pm and 4:30pm, respectively. The first to remind me to start packing up, the second proclaiming “YOU’RE NO GOOD IF YOU BURN OUT.” And it’s true, we are no good if we burn out. All our curriculum, our student support interventions, and careful planning are not effective if we are not present. And we cannot be present if we are not happy, and we deserve happiness. I’m recommitting myself to self-care, not just for myself, but for my students. They deserve the best version of myself, and I do too.

Self-Care Questions to Consider:

  • Are you eating well?
  • Are you resting and sleeping enough?
  • Are you having fun?
  • What supports you?
  • What drains you?
Posted by:Shannon Jin-a Yi-Lamborn

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