5 Unusual Ways to De-Stress Teachers Should Try

There are times when you find teaching to be a thankless job. Everyday routine and stressors can take a toll on your physical and mental health. This is why it is important for all teachers to de-stress, unwind and recharge every now and then.

Although there are tons of all-too-common stress busters, you might want to try some unusual stress-relieving ideas. Below we list some uncommon activities that can help you think from a fresher perspective.

Stay still, play deadDe-Stress Teachers

An odd way of battling stressors is to just lie down on your back and staying still for several minutes. Keep your hands, legs, and body as motionless as possible. Breathe in through your nose and exhale through your mouth. The “Corpse pose” or Shavasana in yoga is a great way to keep your mind and spirit at peace. While in a position of utter surrender, you allow yourself to just be. Let your mind be free and be aware of your entire body. This might get you look silly but it’s an effective de-stressor.

Try beer bath

Instead of getting drunk on beer, why not take a beer bath? Soaking in a bathtub of beer can be a great way to relax. Beer contains chemicals called phytoestrogens, which are known to have stress-relieving benefits. The fragrance of beer is also thought to help calm your mind. Of course, warm bath itself can have an amazing de-stressing power. Just don’t get tempted to drink all the beer!

Drive and get lost

We, teachers, spend our entire day following routines, staying orderly and structured. While being organized is a must for teachers, it can also be a source of stress. It’s good to break away from daily routine and just try something out of the ordinary. A great way to do this is by getting lost.

Hop into an off-road truck equipped with powerful LED lighting as reviewed in http://lightbarreport.com/, and start driving from dawn till dusk. Drive to somewhere you’ve never been to and explore the ‘unseen’ part of the world! New experiences and sights break away the monotony in your life. Plus, the feeling of being lost can pump up your adrenaline, something you need to fight anxiety.

Play lunchtime game

How many times have you scolded students caught playing games at class? Well, you they might just be trying to teach you a lesson. Sneaking a game of Tetris (or any game for that matter) is a great way to calm yourself. Playing childhood classic for several minutes distracts your brain’s conceptual thinking thereby allowing you to de-stress. When you focus on a game, you get to forget your problems and just try to act like a carefree child.

Get dirty

Find an open field, get your shoes off, and start rolling over the grass. On a rainy day, find a muddy puddle and start thumping on it like a child. This should help you forget the rigors of our profession. As teachers, we are expected to be always on top of our game, to be organized and structured, to be orderly. By getting dirty, you can reconnect with the simple pleasures of the world and realize that life is not all about your profession.

Lastly, de-stressing is all about immersing into any activity that makes you feel free and distracts you from the pressures of life. Find time to do whatever your heart wants. Don’t worry about what others might think. Just do as you please!

Planning and Preparation: Two Key Components to Teach Effectively

As the father of time management Benjamin Franklin would say: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

This old adage is especially true among teachers. To be an effective teacher, you need to plan and prepare for the entire day.

If there’s a person who should be most prepared in class, it should be the teacher. As much as possible, be over prepared for facing your students. The best teachers are continuously planning and preparing. They are always thinking ahead: the next learning objectives, lesson plans, activities, etc. They’re best buddy is a goal planner, such as those reviewed at Get Life You Desire, that lists down their goals and plans. This guides them in making the learning environment more conducive to learning.

Preparation and planning can have a tremendous impact on the student’s learning experience. If you are adequately prepared, you can effectively direct your student’s towards better understanding of the lessons taught.

Contrary to what many people think, the work of a teacher doesn’t start and end at the ring of the bell; teachers spend long hours (even while away from school) planning how to best teach their students. Although the daily schedule of teachers include a planning period, the real preparation and planning happens outside of school hours. Dedicated teachers arrive early, stay late, and even spend their days off working to make them adequately prepared for class. They explore different learning methods, revise their plans, and look for new ideas to ensure that the learning objectives are achieved.

Investing time to prepare and plan can greatly help make your work as a teacher successful and easy. It’s actually an investment that will save you all possible headaches that lack of planning can bring.

Preparation and Planning Strategies

So, how do you prepare and plan more efficiently? Below are seven strategies you can try.

  • If you are a new or novice teacher, be prepared to spend lots of extra time on these components. This is especially true since you’re just learning the nuances of being a teacher and are still developing a routine.
  • Develop a planning routine that includes both your personal and work tasks. Writing in a paper planner can help you organize your schedule. You can check out some budget-friendly paper planners here: https://getlifeyoudesire.com/top-6-best-budget-planners/.
  • Always plan in advance. Avoid cramming or doing last minute changes. Lack of proper preparation and planning can limit the effectiveness of your teaching.
  • Keep your teaching materials, such as quizzes, lesson plans, activities, modules, etc., in labeled folders or binders. Include important notes about each material, such as if it worked or if it didn’t work, and how to improve it.
  • Unique ideas are great but you can always reinvent what is available. There are tons of resources available in the internet that can help improve your teaching instructions. You can also learn excellent ideas from fellow teachers.
  • Keep your workspace distraction-free. As much as possible, turn off gadgets and electronic devices that tend to distract you from making preparations and plans.
  • When conducting classroom activities, assemble all the necessary materials before you head to the classroom or before students arrive. If possible, practice the activity to see what preparations or adjustments you need to make.


Top Reasons Why Student Should Use Planners

Participants in a teacher’s conference were asked about their best organization and time management recommendations for students. The responses varied from helpful tips to inputs on how to change student’s outlook on education. But one of the highly recommended tools that all teachers unanimously agreed is the use of student planners.

Why student planners are recommended?

Teachers coming from various educational institutions and with varied years of teaching experience believe that planners could greatly help in educating students. This tool can greatly help enhance the learning experience of students by keeping them focused and on track on their work.

Student planners also promote better communication among the students, parents and teachers. Planners develop planning and organizational skills of students. With these planners, students are able to keep track of their homework, projects and other requirements.

Student planners come in different styles, themes and designs. A post at Estyslife.com is actually dedicated to this type of planner. Although student planners look differently, they all enhance classroom experience in the same way.

Below we list the four main ways student planners can enhance learning.

  1. Help develop organization skills

Organizing school stuff isn’t an easy task to many students. It requires planning and conscious effort that most students lack. A lot of students get easily worn out and confused with the need to keep up and plan for their classes, exams, projects, school works, and more. However, these can be avoided with proper planning and organizing.

With student planners, learners are able to systematically approach their daily tasks and prepare for all other curricular activities. It can also help teachers further assist their students by reviewing their student planners before they leave class, making sure that they have taken down important information.

  1. Keep track of learning progress

Using student planners enable learners to keep track of their achievements. Students can list down their daily objective and to-do lists. Seeing your accomplishments throughout the week inspires you to study and work harder. Furthermore, goal setting is an essential skill that students will need not only at school but in life.

  1. Teaches responsibility

By using the planners, students are given the freedom to plan, manage and monitor their work. It teaches students to become more responsible with their everyday tasks. It also calls them to take full accountability and commitment towards achievement of their learning objectives.

  1. Promote communication

Miscommunication can hinder in the learning experience of students. Conveying the right information to parents is also vital. Student planners can help prevent miscommunication. It can serve as an excellent communication channel between students, parents and teachers.

Usually, student planners have separate sections dedicated for parent-teacher communication. Here parents can write anything they want the teachers to know such as any learning difficulty of the student or concerns with the school. The teachers can also the planners to write regarding school activities, policies or other student concerns.

Final Thoughts

All in all, encouraging students to use planners is tremendously helpful in their learning experience. In a time when students are faced with a lot of distractions, especially with technology, traditional planners can make them focus and succeed in school.


Common Daily Classroom Problems

If you’ve been a teacher for longer than a day, I promise you’ve run into classroom problems before. These problems can be anything from small things like a child forgetting lunch that day all the way up to truly sad family problems. No matter what the issue, it is your job as a teacher to resolve it as best you can. This is what sets some teachers apart is great, while the others fall by the wayside. I want to talk about a few issues I run into almost every school year, and they ways that I deal with them.

Not Paying Attention

I’ve listed this one first because there are so many sides to this problem. Some children don’t pay attention because they really are just being annoying. However, some children have more complex reasons that they’re goofing off in class. Sozmetimes it’s because there are circumstances at home that cause they to care much less about school. Sometimes it is because they have ADD and their parents have not taken steps to help them work through the issue. No matter what, as a teacher I have to try my best to figure out the REASON they are not paying attention. Usually it’s easy to tell. If a child is being malicious, I can tell because they don’t pay attention in class and don’t even pretend to care. Children who are distracted because of personal circumstances are typically eager to learn, they just go off into their own world sometimes. It really just depends!

Having Trouble In Class

Much like the first issue, there are often several causes for this. Is the child having trouble because the class is really hard, or because he or she just doesn’t like it? Or is it because the child stayed up all night the night before playing with his new airsoft gun from GunsWildfire? Once you narrow down the reason, it will be much easier to deal with the problem. One reason many children don’t care about schoolwork is because of the teacher. Are you SURE that you’re teaching the class in a way that is engaging? Take a hard look at yourself before you point the finger at your students.

Not Doing Homework

Sadly, I’ve found this one is rarely totally innocent, if it’s a common theme. Someone who forgot to turn in their science homework once probably didn’t mean anything by it, but someone who refuses to do their work as a constant pattern is not doing it by accident. There are a few ways you can deal with this. First, be gracious the first time they forget, but don’t be so forgiving if it happens again. Twice in a row is a little bit much. And if it happens a 3rd time, you need to talk very firmly to the child and let them know that behavior will not be tolerated. As a last resort, you can talk to the parents if you believe that will help. But with all problems, talk to the child first.

Underrated Classes in School

Underrated Classes in SchoolThe school systems of every country have a few subjects that they prioritize. Math, science, and grammar are a few of the subjects that are seen as more important in almost all schools. But what about the subjects that don’t get as much attention? What are some subjects that not enough people talk about? I have talked with quite a few teachers from all different schools, and I’ve come up with a few subjects that don’t get enough attention from the school system. Here are some classes and subjects that students need to know, but very few get to learn.


When kids get out of high school, most don’t know how to file taxes or create a budget of their own. I’m not sure why geometry is seen as an essential skill but balancing a checkbook is not, but that needs to change. Math is really important, and you need that for finance, but it would be useful to students if the system changed a bit. If math focused more on practical aspects such as spreadsheets or applied financial statistics, students would be able to see how math affects their lives. As things stand now, it’s hard to convince a student that math will help them in the long run or that they will even use it in their lifetime.

Practical Science

It’s nice to know that water is 2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom, but it’s so much better to show students how that’s useful to know in real life. For example, natural science class could talk about space and look through telescopes from Like Hubble, then talk about how companies like SpaceX are working to send people to space in the next few years. Showing the value of what you’re teaching is everything. Science is a must-know for students, but as they get older you should show why science is so important. Another example is using Raspberry Pi computers to teach programming in a fun way.

Another fun way to teach natural science is to take students on bird-watching trips or other nature tours. Make sure you get a telescope designed for bird-watching! Nature trips are fun for students. Even if you can’t make it all the way out to a nature park, try a botanical garden. The plant life alone will keep students occupied for hours.


Drama is often overlooked by students who want to play sports or something similar. But drama actually helps students with public speaking, confidence, and memory. It takes a lot of courage to get on stage and remember your lines, and then execute them confidently. I firmly believe students would benefit from drama classes. In addition, there are all sorts of literary benefits as well. Drama often requires players to learn classical plays, and write papers or short summaries of their characters.

Students need to learn more skills than just math or science without any application. They need to know WHY they’re learning what they are.

Why I Still Teach Literature

Why I Still Teach LiteratureHigh school students almost always groan when they hear that we’re doing a course on Shakespeare or the Divine Comedy this semester. I always hear protests about “why do we need to know that? How will that help us during adult life?” What most students don’t realize is that I am doing this to help them to be literate and knowledgeable. It may be hard to see it now, but literature has a huge effect on how a student will do in the future. I want to talk about a few reasons that literature helps us, not just for our careers but for our whole lives.

Reading Comprehension

Most of the time, students try to get away with reading some abridged version of the book that I’ve assigned them. In doing that, they’re cheating themselves out of a valuable skill. Learning how to sit down and read a long book is a skill that will pay itself back 100 times over. If you can learn to love reading, you will love learning. And in this economy, people that hate to learn are the first to be out of work. Our economy is one of information now, so if you don’t have much information you won’t have much of a good life. Sadly, I think this is much like sports; if you don’t invest in your body now, it will be too late by the time you’re 60 to start getting fit. Patio Sport.Com has a variety of sports equipment to help you stay fit, which keeps your mind sharp at the same time. Reading can also stave off Alzheimer’s Disease; you keep your mind sharp-which guarantees that learning pathways in the brain don’t atrophy.

Writing Comprehension

English class doesn’t stop at just reading; it moves on to writing as well. The most important part of reading is being able to interact with it. If you just read and don’t know how to respond to what you’ve read, you might as well not have read it. It won’t be any use to you. It’s like trying to play badminton without a badminton racquet. Students don’t like to do it, but it is a skill you will need to know later. For example, if you ever want to go into an engineering, sales, recruitment, or legal profession and are bad with reading comprehension, you need to do something else.

Reading as a Hobby

If reading isn’t your thing, I understand. However, you’re missing out on a great hobby. Smartphones are a great invention, but using them a lot can make it hard to focus on long and difficult reading. Lots of people avoid reading just because it is difficult; it definitely takes longer, but I don’t think it’s any harder if you put in the focus to learn. Just because something takes time doesn’t mean you should try it. If you can put the time in, reading is a wonderful hobby because it forces you to use different parts of your brain in order to enjoy the story.

Independent Research as an Important Learning Tool

You may not have done this much at high school. It wasn’t your fault, really.

The school curriculum, in certain circumstances, did not allow you much time to explore this effective avenue of higher learning. There has also been too much emphasis on rote learning.

This practice still continues today but fortunately, states and districts across the country are addressing shortfalls in educational outcomes and paying more attention to the needs of special students who invariably have learning disabilities which cause them to struggle at both junior and high school level. You may not have had much time for doing research to improve your knowledge and enhance your interest in a particular subject, mainly because there was very little time for this.

Smart students spend time doing their own research

Fortunately, there were other extracurricular activities that you could apply your mind (and body) to. And it helped, didn’t it? Your first experience of doing your own independent research may have come when you began looking into prospective colleges where you could further your studies.

If you still have recollections of that experience, you will recall that you had to do a number of things. You had to take into account your grades and field of interest. You also had to consider location, and unfortunately, had to involve your parents.

But independent-minded and ambitious students have gone on to manage quite well without their folks, in spite of all the usual challenges. They went on to study at the college of their choice, after their applications were successful and they were able to relocate smoothly. Because college tuition fees are expensive at the best schools, these smart students spent time researching job avenues which would also match their college schedule.

Independent research will take you far

In an earlier blog post, we spoke about well-educated middle-aged and older men and women who, after years spent in chosen careers, have upped the ante where quality of life is concerned and relocated to the tranquil environment of country towns. These successful people could never do this on luck alone. Money was never a factor either.

But from a commercial perspective, you as a consumer still need to make informed decisions. Light Bar Land explains the principle coherently on their website. The principle of applying and managing your own independent research remains the same, whether you are at college, shopping or looking to make life-defining changes.

To put successful independent research methodologies into practice at college, always be prepared to work wide and beyond what has been prescribed. College professors may only be providing you with a set list of suggestions, if they do this at all, but they also know full well that you are expected to read beyond what they presented.

Never taking manufacturers’ guides at face value, these country folks will in all probability be driving their trucks around town and the surrounding environment, well equipped with portable environmentally-friendly light pods as opposed to more conventional choices.

Learn to do your own independent research and see how far it takes you in this lifetime.

The Essentials of Life are Education and Clean Water

The Essentials of Life are Education and Clean WaterThe sad truth about education is that it’s not about learning anymore. It’s about money. The more money you have, the better your chance is of getting an education. There are not enough scholarships to go around to cater for the poor. Governments get around the cost of college education by applying a debt to the student who has to pay it back after graduation. Primary and secondary schooling are supposed to be free, but they are from it. The cost of books, school uniforms sometimes and stationery can all add up to a decent amount, especially if you don’t have a lot of money to spare.

Did you know that 20% of the world’s population are illiterate? That’s about 1 billion people who have either little or no basic reading skills. It’s no coincidence that more than 95% of these people all live in the poorest of countries. No money means no education. What’s even more disastrous is that there is no immediate end to the cycle. Children being born to poor parents who are illiterate will end up the same.

Philanthropic organisations and individuals do as much as they can to assist with money and volunteers, but it’s like trying to shout “Stop” in front of an elephant stampede. People in this situation find it almost impossible to extricate themselves from it, or bring about change. One reason is that due to lack of education, they don’t know any better. What we perceive as being a hard life they see as being normal.

Third world countries suffer from not only lack of education but the lack of clean drinking water. The statistics are as damning as those in illiteracy. 800 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. More than 8 million die each year from the consequences of water-related disease. Some countries are too busy making war to see that allocation of war funds to global education might be a better idea.

People that live in modern, first world countries also seem to have a problem with the purity of their water. We appear to have lost confidence in drinking water from the tap as can be evidenced by the amount of bottled water we drink and the proliferation of water softeners and purifying systems. ‘Hard’ water is the word applied to water that has an excessive amount of minerals in it, the main culprit being calcium. That mightn’t sound serious but soaping up in the shower and washing clothes is tough. Try drinking the stuff. It tastes terrible. If it’s a problem you have, then check this out. It might help.

Governments can be blamed for our water tasting the way it does because they, under reliable scientific advice, added fluoride to water supplies to help stop the rotting of your teeth. Have you ever been camping and your tent is set up next to a river being fed by melting snow from the mountains? Fill your container and have a drink. It’s about as refreshing a taste of water you will ever experience.

Never Stop Learning

Lady reading a book outsideWe have spoken a number of times in the past about the importance of education. After all, we are teachers and apart from education being our livelihood, it is also our passion. Nothing pleases a good teacher more than seeing his students graduate successfully and make his way into the working world without much ado. But we’d like to emphasize the importance of lifelong learning. After you’ve received your college degree do not take it for granted that this is where it all stops. You still have the rest of your life ahead of you and the Lord alone knows how long you will be living.

Prepare yourself for the real job for life

Today’s sociological and economic circumstances should compel you to consider higher learning in order to enhance your career prospects going forward. Those who are fortunate enough to attain entry-level jobs after college graduation soon learn to regret their acceptance that this may be their job for life. In today’s climate, it rarely is. Where job security is concerned, your perceived good fortune may continue for a number of years. But not much else changes.  Why is this?

While you may have (short-term) job security, security in many other areas of your life tells a different story. Your wages or salaries or not likely to increase substantially for you to enhance the quality of your life, provide your own children with a higher standard of education or make generous long-term savings for your future. This is due to a number of sociological and economic factors. Economically, the country remains challenged with near-zero inflation and interest rates, and sluggish gross domestic product and job growth generally. Across States, there are some exceptions.

Re-educate to improve the quality of your life

To emphasize the importance of further learning, we are going to picture a broad-based scenario. In order to find meaningful work and to survive, many migrants, cross-border and from rural regions, are trekking to urban environments at increased rates every year. But while this is not noticed, mainly because the numbers are so small, there are people moving in the opposite direction. Ask anyone who has had the opportunity to take a holiday to country towns. Did they tell you how happy the townsfolk seem to be?

And because they are far removed from urban centers, rural townsfolk have prepared themselves well ahead of time. Well-educated and having been through the mill where careers are concerned, these middle-aged to senior (pension) aged folks, have taught themselves new skills and attended workshops to equip themselves with these skills. It would not be unusual to see a former college professor or business administration manager handle a large, multipurpose wood lathe during the course of his building exercises, whether for domestic or commercial use. For folks such as these, quality of life turned out to be more important than just having a job to go to everyday.

In order to improve their quality of life, not just their bank balance, these well-educated men and women, re-educated themselves and relocated.

Strategies to Increase Your Critical Thinking

Strategies to Increase Your Critical ThinkingThe human brain is truly an incredible thing. Once we put our minds to it, we can do anything we want to. It just takes a bit more thinking to start improving on any skill we might have. Improving on a skill won’t magically happen by itself; people have to put the time and effort in in order to improve on themselves. By following certain strategies, any person with a drive to improve or work on something, can mentally develop as a thinker. Below we’ll explain three of these strategies, and how you can apply these to yourself to increase your critical thinking.

1) Another Day, Another Problem

Whenever you have some free time, be it at the beginning of the day, on your lunch break, at the end of the day, or even in the middle of the night, think of a problem that you could potentially solve. It could be anything to do within your daily life, your family, somebody around you, something that you’re doing, an object – literally anything – and starting questioning the aspects about it. What is the problem? Why is it a problem? By solving it, how does it relate to what you want to achieve? How does it help you accomplish your goals?

Make sure to study your problem so you learn what every aspect of it is.  Be clear on what it is you are solving. Think about whether or not you have control over the problem, and if not, can you solve this problem otherwise? Do however focus more on the problems you can solve, as you will feel a sense of accomplishment once they are completed. If necessary, carry out some independent research in order to solve your problem. Make sure to examine and investigate the research you’ve collected, and use it to figure out your solution.

Once you’ve found any information you need, and learnt your problem inside and out, start to think about your options. Which solution is best for you? Are there advantages or disadvantages to your solutions? Think through a strategic approach to solving your problem, and follow through with it. This may vary on your problem, but the strategy may take time or it may be something you can solve instantly. Once the problem starts to be resolved, record the results of your actions, and monitor what effect they’re having on you.

Strategically thinking through one problem per day allows you to open up your mind and consider every aspect of something, rather than a primary focus. You can apply this method to everything else in life as well.

2) Write a logical diary

Aim to write a certain amount of diary entries each week. Don’t just write a general diary though about how you’re feeling and what has happened, but focus on particular situations. Has anything happened to affect you in a specific way – did something have an emotional significance on you? Ensure to abide by the following structure, keeping the same pattern too:

  1. The situation – by focusing on one at a time, write about something that you care about, something that has impacted on you in a certain way. Be as detailed or as brief as you feel is necessary to the situation.
  2. The response – how did the situation make you feel? What emotions did you encounter? Was there any action you took to this situation? Describe everything you felt and did from it, and be as detailed as possible.
  3. The analysis – Think deeper into what happened in the situation. What exactly was going on? Is there a certain part of the situation that you can identify with that makes you feel a specific emotion? Is there something going on between you and whatever happened in the situation? Really think about the cause and effect of it.
  4. The assessment – Reflect on your analysis. What did you find? Did you do some learning in the process? Upon revisiting the situation, what would you do differently? Would you do anything differently?

You should find in this strategy that you will think deeper about yourself, and what you feel and react to certain things. This strategy really focuses on you and your reaction to environmental factors, and how to go about them if they’ve upset you. This can be applied to anything in your daily life, and can be passed on as valuable advice.

3) Redefine your personality

Consider an intellectual characteristic: humility, empathy, perseverance, integrity, courage, etc. Choose one trait to focus on per month, and focus on how you can develop this trait to enhance your character.

For example, if it’s intellectual integrity you’ve chosen to focus on, you might start to think about how to be true to your thinking. Consider how you react to others, and how you would feel if they reacted to you in the same way. As the proverb goes, ‘Treat others how you wish to be treated’. Start to notice when you feel uncomfortable with how others are treating you – have you treated them in the same way? By focusing on your reactions to others’ actions, you will start to think about your own. You’ll start to think about your actions and the consequences of them, before you act them out. This’ll make you think in a critical way of cause and effect – for example, if you react in a certain way, what will be the effect on others and yourself?

Each month you’ll find that you’ll see things in a different light – you’ll start to improve on yourself. Thinking in this strategic method gives you a chance to reflect on yourself, as well as monitoring your character. With this, you can start to take responsibility for your actions, and put right what was wrong.