Take a TEACHER’S Time-Out to Refresh!

Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!

Are your days getting more hectic by the minute?

Catch kids' dreams of outdoor adventures.

Picture yourself somewhere wonderful to you. Do snow-covered mountains come to mind?

Take a TEACHER’S Time-Out to Refresh!

In the English language anyway, “refresh” is a word that sounds like what it means. Onomatopoeia at its best. A poetic device that allows us to wrap ourselves around a word. Embrace its meaning. Feel the sensation of its impact.

Impact…if you’re experiencing the negative impact of even more than the usual overload of information in the world today, pause and picture yourself somewhere wonderful to you.

Snow-covered mountains? Sunset over the ocean?

No words needed.

Just a TIME-out…there’s the key word…TIME.

Make an appointment with yourself. Don’t give it up for matters that may be pressing.

Settle in with the picture clear in your mind, or in front of you, if you can literally set yourself in front of a place or person that triggers positive

If the sun made a sound, what would it be? Answer: Laughter

Would your TEACHER’S Time-Out take your mind’s picture to a sunset over the ocean? Water can be refreshing.


Follow these five steps to refresh…

STEP # 1 – STOP – Plan a time when you can sit somewhere quietly by yourself.

If necessary, give advance notice of your appointment (they don’t need to know that it is with yourself) to those who might try to communicate with you during your time-out to refresh.

Once you’ve found your time-out zone, picture yourself somewhere wonderful to you. Don’t rush yourself. Sit and think about the concept of coming to a complete stop.

Tell yourself that it’s time for self-assessment and self-appreciation.

STEP # 2 – REVIEW – When you have put yourself on pause and centered your focus on you, invite your mind to silently think over what you’ve accomplished in school, at home, and elsewhere this week, month, term, year.

Review time may also include reading over a list of professional objectives and personal goals that you created earlier in the year or as part of your preparation for time-out to refresh.

In addition…you may want to jot down review questions to guide this part of the self-assessment.

No one will be around to hear you, so it may be helpful to actually talk out loud to yourself as you review.

STEP # 3 – REFLECT – Reflection is personal so you will likely want to leave this part of the self-assessment open-ended. In other words, let whatever thoughts pop into your mind flow

It's hard to make ourselves STOP in a busy, complicated world. But, the benefits of doing so are big.

It’s hard to make ourselves STOP in a busy, complicated world. But, the benefits of doing so are big.

freely. Don’t edit your thinking as you reflect and prepare to refresh.

However, it may help you to have some guiding questions for this most creative part of the process.

Questions may include, for example:

  • “What have I done especially well with my students during the past term?”
  • “What was most difficult about my job and why?”
  • “Have I modeled behavior that helps children develop skills to stay focused and on task?”
  • “How can I be a better listener and a better learner myself?”
  • “Have I contributed to my own goals and those of my family and friends?”
  • “What direction seems the best for me to take moving forward?”

STEP # 4 – RENEW – You want to feel energized by the self-assessment so that you are renewed for the days and weeks ahead.

Go back to picturing yourself in a place wonderful to you. Add in the people who matter to you. See yourself reaching your most important goals.

Time-out to refresh and renew may also include music. During or after you work through the steps, play something soothing or upbeat; whatever pleases you.

If you enjoy exercises, add a little physical activity to your time-out, like stretching to music. Keep the process simple and pleasant.

STEP # 5 – STOP – Conclude your time-out to refresh with an edible treat. Savor the flavor. Think of it as a reward for taking a TEACHER’S Time-Out to Refresh!

Pat yourself on the back for taking time to take control over your life, even if that sense of control is short-lived.

It’s hard to make ourselves STOP in a busy, complicated world, but the benefits of doing so are big.


Follow these five steps and add your own, if you like.

Every teacher has her or his own methods for refreshing ourselves and renewing our capacity to help children learn.

Consider scheduling a TEACHER’S Time-Out to Refresh on a regular basis.

You may also want to modify these steps for your students. Turn this 5-step process into a learning tool. Like adults, children can benefit from a guided time to stop, review, reflect and renew.

What strategies do you use to help yourself and your students evaluate progress and re-energize? Please send comments.

Talk with you again soon,

Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet


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Posted in Attentionology for K-5 Teachers
Barbara Cleary has been serving as a resource to hundreds of educators for more than 25 years. An award-winning writer, producer, teacher, and trainer, Barbara’s focus is on offering easy, fun tools and tricks that support K-5 curricula and assist teachers with classroom management.
Quick tips for common classroom conundrums: K-5
Situation: Young students are getting noisy while you’re trying to teach.

Solution: Hold up "Listen Star," a toy magic wand that you’ve designated to be a cue for quiet. Tell the class, "When you see our friend, 'Listen Star' dance across the classroom sky, that’s your signal to HUSH for a moment."

Related Posts: Let "Listen Star" Work Magic for You