Tips to Combat Teacher Fatigue

Tips to Combat Teacher Fatigue

Let’s face it.  Being a teacher is hard work.  Finding simple ways to combat teacher fatigue can be a game changer!  I published this post on Classroom Tested Resources today, but thought I should share it on my blog as well. Now that school is back in full swing you might notice your energy waning.  Me? Well, I’m changing positions a month after school started, so I am in full “back to school tired” mode!  This led me to investigate ways to beat teacher fatigue.

It goes without saying that we need to maintain good sleep habits once school starts.  It is so easy to work long hours, hoping to get caught up.  The ugly truth is there will ALWAYS be something else to do, especially in today’s world.  Getting enough rest will keep your body healthy and your mind active during the long days at school.  Being overly sleepy is your body’s way of saying, “Hey! Get some more rest!” When I ignore this signal, I often find myself fighting a nasty cold.

Test your sleep IQ by taking this interesting sleep quiz from the National Sleep Foundation.

You can find it by clicking {HERE}.

I know many of us toss and turn keeping us from falling asleep at night.  We simply have too many things running through our minds.  The best way I have found to combat this dilemma is by:

  1. Make a “To Do List.” Write down the things you need to accomplish or remember. This will free your mind to relax at night.  Try to prioritize and only list must do items.  Remember, this isn’t a wish list!
  2. Unplug from social media about an hour before bed.  Research states that computer usage before bed can decrease our ability to go to sleep.
  3. Keep a bedtime routine and time schedule.  Our bodies get used to falling asleep and waking at certain times.  Keeping the schedule even on weekends is helpful.
  4. Investigate essential oils. In a glass spray bottle combine a few drops of your favorite relaxing essential oil, like lavender, with water.  Spritz over your linens just before bed.  Check out The Prairie Homestead for recommended oils geared for getting and staying asleep.
  5. Let your linens dry on an old fashioned clothesline.  This is my absolute favorite!
Linens drying on a clothesline
Bring fresh air in for a restful sleep.
I found this affordable essential oil on Amazon.  It has some great reviews, including the use as a sleep aid for children.  Note: This is an affiliate link.



Healthy lunches that look and taste good, are a wonderful “pick me up” during the afternoon.  I am famous for throwing a container of  Greek yogurt in my bag, then hoping for the best.  While most yogurt is good for you, it can get a little boring.  Having a fun, tasty lunch gives you more incentive to take the time to eat.

Photo and recipe can be found at Family Fresh Meals

Foods that keep blood sugar steady, provide long lasting energy, and trigger your brain to feel good are the best choices for lunch.

1.  Choose whole grains, keeping an eye on the amount of sugar listed in the ingredients.  These carbs are good for boosting energy and the feel-good chemical serotonin. Whole grains are absorbed in your body slowly, so your energy doesn’t spike. Sugars cause blood sugars to spike and then plummet. Avoid high fructose corn syrup.

2. Add nuts, beans, lentils, fresh lean meats, and eggs.  These protein packed foods absorb in your body slowly and provide extended energy throughout the day.  Nuts, as well as whole grains, contain magnesium. Magnesium deficiency drains your energy. Meats contain Vitamin B-12 and boost dopamine levels which keep you alert and focused.

3.  Plan dinner meals which can easily be incorporated into wholesome lunches.  It is easy to cook a little extra during your main meal, then pack the leftovers for lunch.  Another great alternative is to make simple tweaks to your main meal for a fresh take as a lunch choice.  See the recipe below as a great example. Not only do you use the crock pot (“win-win”), but it would be so easy to add the leftover chicken to create a delicious lunch salad or wrap.  Have roast?  Shred it for an easy barbecue sandwich.

Find this photo and recipe at Family Fresh Meals.

4.  Seasonal fruits and vegetables are an easy, nutritious addition to your lunch.  They are low in fat, sodium and cholesterol. They do provide complex carbohydrates, fiber, nutrients and natural sugar. It is important to make sure you “eat the rainbow” when making choices.

fruits and vegetables color choices for health

Check out my Pinterest board for some easy lunch recipes.
Follow Sebrina Burke’s board Easy, Healthy Lunch Ideas on Pinterest.

Take the advice of someone who has been teaching for 21 years, and is still NOT caught up!  Work will always be there.  Prioritize.  What needs to be done to keep your students safe and reaching their potential?  What deadlines are looming?   Does it really matter if every corner of your classroom looks like it came off a Pinterest board?  NO!  But your health, happiness, and family do depend on you to realize that you simply “Can’t do it all!”

Be kind to yourself, get some rest, and enjoy your coming weekend!


Reflect and Refresh Part 2

I’m joining with Mrs. D’s Corner for her Reflect and Refresh series.  Yes, I’m a little late as I didn’t participate in Part 1.  Life just gets too chaotic sometimes.  I decided to take some time to reflect and refresh AND rest!  Plus I have been super busy with summer school and other projects. So, that being said…

reflect and refresh part 2


This year I am making it my goal to beef up my communication with families.  I have been putting together binders, which I hope will hold up better than the paper folders we have used in the past.  I call them my HOT Binders (Home Organizational Too). I am including a calendar for behavior and homework, a tabbed section for newsletters, a spiral notebook, a pencil pouch, and a sheet protector for papers to sign and return.  The spiral notebook will be used for daily written communication on an as needed basis.  This is what my dining room table looks like tonight!  

Reflect and Refresh Homework Binder


Reflect and Refresh Homework Binder 2


Reflect and Refresh Homework Binder 3

If you could use this in your class, the editable binder covers are free in my TPT Store.   Just click {HERE}.


I brought home a huge tub of various task cards that I used and need to sort by season/standard.  I bought several of the lidded containers from Really Good Stuff, as well as the cart shown below. 

My goal for the next week is to get these things organized in time for back to school in August.  I am leaning toward a system such as this one by Third Grade Thinkers

Reflect and Refresh Third Grade Thinkers



Not only do I collaborate with colleagues in my school/district, I love my online friends.  Periscope has opened up a whole new world of learning for teachers who wish to learn and collaborate.  If you haven’t taken time to check out this form of social media, I highly encourage you to do so before the mad school rush days begin!  Recently I have watched several by teachers at the Ron Clark Academy.  Hope King has had some fabulous scopes.  I hope to continue to have time to watch some of these once school starts.  Just remember, the scopes are only available for 24 hours, unless the person scoping saves their broadcast.

My Big Summer Project

I worked on my updating my blog, and had great plans for adding many new products in my store.  I did get to add a Back to School Paper Bag Book activity which you can find {HERE}.  So next to my binders are the beginnings of our first week Back to School Writing Journals.  I know my family wonders when they will be able to eat sitting down again!

reflect and refresh all about me book

Since some of my students will be looping with me, I needed a fresh back to school idea.  I really want to focus more on writing.  With this project I will have a formative assessment/baseline based on where they are after summer break.

I taught summer school in a center school that serves students with severe physical and mental handicaps.  I enjoyed working with these students.  They taught me as much as I taught them.  

Be sure to share your refresh and reflect ideas in the comments below.  Hop over and check out some other bloggers who have participated with us!


July Pick 3 Tips for Summer

There’s nothing like summer break for relaxing and spending quality time with your family. So kick back, and take a look at some of the pins I found for this summer!

July Pinterest Slide


July Slide1


After a few days of relaxing I know I need to start organizing and cleaning.  I want to share with you a great cleaning tip that I KNOW works!

dawn and vinegar cleaning solution

This homemade cleaning solution is WONDERFUL!  No more toxic fumes or expensive cleaners.  You only need dawn, vinegar, and a spray bottle.  I have been using this solution to clean my showers and sinks for a year now and love it.  You can find the directions on Honey Bee Hive.   I enjoy finding healthy, natural ways to clean, even though I am NOT the queen of cleaning by any means!

Pinterest Pick 3 July

One of my favorite summer treats is the time to indulge in reading.  I like to continue reading educational blogs and research materials, but I relish the chance to get into some great fiction.  I happened upon a site chock full of shelving solutions for all those great books.

Pinterest Pick 3 July

What a cozy place to read on a rainy day!  Check out Interior Design 2014 for 40 ideas for book storage.

I am currently reading an amazing book written by Charles Martin called “When Crickets Cry.”  I am thoroughly enjoying this tale of the heart. This is the synopsis on Amazon:

A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts.

It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. But the little girl’s pretty yellow dress can’t quite hide the ugly scar on her chest.

Her latest customer, a bearded stranger, drains his cup and heads to his car, his mind on a boat he’s restoring at a nearby lake. The stranger understands more about the scar than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.

Before it’s over, they’ll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry . . . and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.

Find it on Amazon by clicking the book image.

Pinterest Pick 3 July 3


July 4th, a celebration of our Great Nation’s Independence is right around the corner.  Bring in some patriotic colors with nutritious snacks featured in these 2 pins.


Click the image to visit Family Fresh Meals for the directions.


red white and blue snacks 2

Red white and blueberry yogurt Popsicles. Click the image for directions on The View from Great Island

I hope you found some summer inspiration.  Be sure to visit the participating blogs for more summer treats!


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