Being a student teacher can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it can also be a challenging one. It's important to remember that, as a student teacher, you are still a student yourself, and you must take care of yourself physically and mentally.
Tips for balancing student teaching and a life outside of the classroom:
Set boundaries: One of the most important things you can do for yourself as a student teacher is to set boundaries. This means setting limits on how much time you spend on lesson planning, grading, providing feedback, etc. It's important to have time for yourself and your loved ones, and setting boundaries will help ensure you have that time. You need to find a routine that works for you that helps you get what you need to get done, and also time to take care of yourself.
Prioritize self-care: As a student teacher, you will be busy, but taking care of yourself is important. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly. Make time for activities you enjoy, such as reading, watching movies, connecting with family and friends, going for a walk, or playing sports.
Find a support system: It's important to have a support system in place. This can include friends, family, or a therapist. It's also a good idea to connect with other student teachers going through the same thing.
Eat a balanced diet: Eating a well-balanced diet is crucial for maintaining energy levels and staying focused throughout the day. Plan your meals and make sure to include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
Get enough sleep: As a student teacher, you will likely have a lot on your plate. However, it is important to ensure you get enough sleep each night. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night to help you feel refreshed and alert during the day.
Stay organized: Keep a planner or calendar to help you stay on your schedule and to-do list. This will help you stay organized and reduce stress by knowing what is coming up and what needs to be done.
Be flexible: Be open to new opportunities and experiences, and remember that they will make you a better teacher in the long run. Jump in from day one planning, preparing, getting to know students, etc.
Reflect often: Reflect throughout the day and week. Jot down your strengths, areas of interest, and areas of need. How are you getting better? What areas do you need to grow in? What is your plan to grow in those areas?
Remember why you chose this path: Teaching is rewarding but challenging. Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed, but it's important to remember why you chose this career.
Student teaching can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By setting boundaries, prioritizing self-care, building a support system, being flexible, and remembering why you chose this path, you can balance your student teaching responsibilities with a fulfilling life outside the classroom. Remember to take care of yourself and enjoy the journey.