SMART Teachers

‘SMART’ teachers know that making their wellbeing a priority is not selfish or something to feel guilty about. Instead, it is a recognition of personal worth and the fact that everyone – teachers and learners – benefit if teachers look after themselves and are wellbeing-SMART: Self, Motivation, Activity, Relationships, Time.

Sarah Mercer, British Linguist

S is for SELF

A long walk in the rain. With eyes wide open I tread my way to my favourite coffee shop trying to notice everything around me – the smell of wet leaves, tree branches glistening with tiny droplets, a tiny patch of bright blue sky breaking through the clouds. Breathe in. Breathe out.


This cactus had to go through many a change and adaptation until it got to be what it is. And it never complained. Nature is like that. Why can’t we be? Besides, as Anne Rice points out: “None of us really changes over time, we only become more fully what we are.” Well put, Anne Rice. Very well put indeed.


Walking, running or doing squats is surely more fun to do outdoors. And while you’re at it, look up from time to time. What do you see? It’d better not be the ceiling!


“This is my secret,” said the fox to the Little Prince. “You can only see clearly with your heart. The most important things are invisible to the eyes.”

T is for TIME

Perhaps the most difficult word to grasp for it is slippery, like a bar of soap in a wet hand. The more you want to squeeze it, the faster it escapes you.

Time is the amount of patience and perseverance between the ‘do’ and the ‘see’. Between starting something and seeing the result. Between placing these pothos cuttings I’m trying to propagate in water and marvelling at its development. Between all the hours and effort you have put into teaching your students this and that and, after a (long) while, witnessing their growth.

(One might as well indulge in some dessert in the mean TIME.)

Time always seems beyond our grasp, especially when pursued. But, should you stop, if only for a brief moment, you may find that it alights upon you in most unexpected ways.