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The Seven Types of Rest that Educators Need…more than anyone else!

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On behalf of our entire team at Keller Education, we welcome you to a new era of teaching, learning and growing together. We welcome you to a year where we wish to reignite your passion by understanding the seven types of rest that educators need.

It’s been a rough ride over the past 4 years with teachers undergoing unprecedented levels of stress and suffering great trauma both in personal and professional lives. 

As we step into 2024, the journey ahead promises innovation, creativity, and a renewed commitment to excellence in education. But to truly elevate and invest in our students, we must first elevate ourselves. 

In the pursuit of nurturing young minds, we often overlook an essential element: our own well-being.

This year, our educational landscape will flourish as we place emphasis not just on mind brain education science, but on the well-being of those shaping the future —our educators and principals. 

Sandra Dalton-Smith’s groundbreaking work on the seven types of rest unveils a roadmap that, when followed, promises to revitalise, empower, and inspire those at the helm of education.

When I first read Dalton-Smith’s approach to my wife, her facial expression said it all…  “You need to start doing what Sandra is suggesting, and you need to start now.”

What better way to set myself a personal goal than to write the first blog of 2024 and hold myself to account? 

The work of Dalton-Smith transcends the conventional view of rest solely as sleep; it’s a nuanced understanding that includes seven distinct areas, each absolutely essential for wellbeing. 

The Seven Types of Rest that Educators Need…more than anyone else!

1. Physical Rest

Beyond sleep, this includes activities like yoga, stretching and massages that rejuvenate the body and alleviate physical stress. Educators are often on their feet or desk-bound for long hours and we forget the toll that this takes on the body. 

2. Mental Rest

This type of rest involves giving the mind a break. Set ‘shut down’ boundaries, practise mindfulness, or engaging in activities that promote mental relaxation. Educators, administrative staff and school leaders need mental clarity to foster creativity and effective problem-solving.

3. Sensory Rest

Ever felt completely over stimulated? The constant stimuli in educational environments can overwhelm the senses…even if you’re the most laid back teacher alive. Sensory rest involves minimising sensory input — dimming lights, reducing noise, setting down your mobile device or finding moments of quiet — to recharge from the sensory barrage.

4. Creative Rest

Exploring hobbies or activities completely detached from work stimulates creativity. You may have heard me teach this before, but having a life outside of the school and your colleagues is crucial to rest the mind. Principals and teachers alike can find inspiration by nurturing their artistic or creative pursuits.

5. Emotional Rest

Educational leaders often carry the weight of others’ emotions. Not only are they responsible for the students, but also the emotional lives of every staff member. Emotional rest involves cultivating healthy boundaries, seeking support, and practising self-compassion to recharge emotionally.

6. Social Rest

While connections are crucial to all humans, they can also drain energy. Social rest means intentionally carving out time for yourself or engaging in non-work-related social activities to regain social balance. Recharge those social batteries!

7. Spiritual Rest

Yes, spiritual rest could be connecting to a higher power or to a faith. But I believe it’s also about finding purpose and meaning beyond the daily grind

So, as we enter this exciting, and no doubt challenging year, lets champion these seven types of rest. To pave the way for a transformative year of education, let’s prioritise our well-being. Doing this is not selfish; it’s an investment in creating an environment where our students can thrive. 

Remember…to uplift others, we must first uplift ourselves.


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