Guest Post by Rachelle Dene Poth
With so much happening and extra burdens on our time, it is more important than ever to focus on ways to make time for self-care. Creating a new daily routine or finding an app to help ourselves to take a break, to engage in mindfulness practices, to focus on our own social emotional learning and our health and wellness is so important. I think it’s more important now than ever as we navigate through the school year. With so many changes and sometimes challenges, it can lead to exhaustion, frustration and potentially, burnout. For teacher appreciation week, I think it is the perfect time to appreciate how hard we have worked and give ourselves a break.
Taking a break does not come easy for me, so to help, I started using JabuMind for Teachers, which was a big change. I had never focused on mindfulness practices but having read a few books about mindfulness and in my ThriveinEDU Facebook community, we’ve talked about the importance of focusing on self-care and finding balance. My good friend Melody McAllister often reminds me to make time each day for self-care and she is right.
With all of the changes in this past year, I wanted to try something different. I have been sharing with many educators about how helpful JabuMind has been for me, especially in making time to take a break. With features, like “start your day” for a few minutes of focus in the morning, “release your day” to transition out of the work day, & “bedtime” to clear your mind before sleep, it helps me to clear my mind and focus on mental and physical wellness. It’s great to listen to while getting outside for a walk too!
It offers a wellness series for educators that features the 10 core lessons of iRest tools. Each day you can use the check in features to track your quality of sleep, mood and see the meditations that you have completed. The library provides guided visualizations on a variety of topics and there are also blogs which provide tips for teachers dealing with stress and anxiety, and even helpful resources for communicating with families.
Taking care of ourselves is important so that we can best care for others. We can also share these ideas with our students depending on their age and model the practice of taking breaks or making time for meditation or mindfulness. Finding ways to take a break from screen time and disconnect, will help us with creating more balance in our days.
With the updated premium version, I can access all prior weekly content and favorite as many of the meditations as I like so that I can use them whenever I need to. For a few weeks, I was so busy that I missed a few of the weekly materials but now I can go back and continue working through each week. There are 10 iRest lessons in Weeks 1-10 which repeat themselves with different meditations and different instructors every ten weeks. After Week 40, there is more emphasis on topics being requested by teachers such as compassion fatigue, gratitude, overwhelm, and unpredictability. Many of these are available in the library which is available to me no matter what week I’m currently listening to.
The premium version of JabuMind offers access to all previous weeks, which I am thankful for! It also includes meditations and tools focused on teacher-requested topics. There is a limited version of the app with free access and it is definitely worth trying out, especially to help with making time to take a break in our day. When we focus on taking those breaks, it definitely helps us to focus more, avoid teacher burnout, and make sure we are more intentional about our self-care and maintaining balance. This is definitely a great app for teachers! Let me know what a difference it makes for you!
About The Author
Rachelle Dene Poth is an edtech consultant, presenter, attorney, author, and teacher. Rachelle teaches Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology at Riverview High School in Oakmont, PA. Rachelle has a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law and a Master’s in Instructional Technology. She is a Consultant and Speaker, owner of ThriveinEDU LLC Consulting. She is an ISTE Certified Educator and currently serves as the past-president of the ISTE Teacher Education Network and on the Leadership team of the Mobile Learning Network. At ISTE19, she received the Making IT Happen Award and has received several Presidential Gold Awards for volunteer service to education.
Rachelle is the author of six books, ‘In Other Words: Quotes That Push Our Thinking,” “Unconventional Ways to Thrive in EDU” (EduMatch) and “The Future is Now: Looking Back to Move Ahead,” “Chart A New Course: A Guide to Teaching Essential Skills for Tomorrow’s World” and her newest book, “True Story Lessons That One Kid Taught Us.” Her newest book will be available this summer from Routledge, “Your World Language Classroom: Strategies for In-Person and Digital Instruction.”
Rachelle is a blogger for Getting Smart, Defined Learning, District Administration, NEO LMS, and the STEM Informer with Newsweek.