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Educator self-care

adapted with permission from the Illinois Principals Association

School leader self-check

Taking care of yourself is the best gift you can give your staff and students.

  • Do I have a physical or mental condition that requires professional attention?
  • Am I getting adequate rest including plenty of sleep at night?
  • Am I maintaining a healthy diet and staying adequately hydrated?
  • Have I engaged in mind-body activities and taken mental/physical breaks? (i.e., quiet times for reflection and reading, yoga, exercise, dancing, outdoor walks, breaks from electronics and social media, setting an end time to my workday)
  • Have I stayed connected to family and close friends?
  • Have I stayed connected to colleagues who I can turn to for support, encouragement, and accountability?
  • Do I have a system that helps me effectively manage my time and tasks including following up on inquiries and/or assistance requests I receive from others?
  • Do I regularly review what I can delegate to others?
  • Am I intentionally scheduling time to check in with staff to see how they are doing, determine their needs, watch a lesson, and offer some encouragement?  If my staff is large, have I ensured my leadership team has the entire staff covered? Have I communicated with my leadership team to be sure to report to me staff members who may need my individual attention?
  • Am I offering adequate support to my team during this time including consistency, compassion, communication, and coaching?

Staff check-in

Without community, nothing else matters.

  • How are you? How are your family, close friends, pets, etc.? Have you been taking time for yourself, family and/or friends?
  • What are you grateful for today?
  • Does your diet fuel your body? Are you drinking enough water to stay hydrated?
  • Are you getting adequate rest?
  • Are you concerned with any physical or mental issues that may require professional attention?
  • Are you engaged in mind-body activities and taking mental/physical breaks? (i.e., quiet times for reflection and reading, yoga, exercise, dancing, outdoor walks, breaks from electronics and social media, setting an end time to my workday)
  • Are you finding opportunities for fun, laughter, and inspiration? (i.e., enjoyable conversations, funny movies, TV shows, books, podcasts)
  • Do you have a fellow staff member that you can turn to for support?  When was the last time you checked in with each other?
  • What are you doing that you would like me to observe and/or provide feedback? (i.e., certain lesson, innovative approach)
  • What is going well for you? Is there something you are struggling with? What do you need to be successful? What specifically can I do to help or support you?
  • What student(s) are you most concerned about right now?  Why specifically do you have these concerns? What support does the student(s) need?

Resources you may find helpful while you support your staff through the pandemic:

Mental well-being resources

Physical well-being resources