As I’m sitting outside on a beautiful day in Chicago, I started thinking back to the dark days during the school year when I arrived to school in the dark and left in the dark. The only sunlight I would see on those days was what little sun made it through the dirty windows in my classroom. It was extremely depressing.
Teachers get busy and small things like fresh air are easily forgotten. Trust me, I remember how easy it was to get in early and leave late. There was always some kind of work to do, something to prep, or student who needed helped. There were literally days that the only time I was outside was to walk to and from my car, and it made me miserable.
So, I’m calling on all teachers to consciously deecide to spend more time outdoors! Maybe you don’t love the outdoors, but who doesn’t like fresh air and sunlight? It’s natural and many studies confirm the healing benefits of being outdoors. The benefits include better mood from more vitamin D, more exercise leading to better overall health, reported increase in memory, and many more. Stop wasting away under artificial lights!
It’s summer still so it’s the perfect time to start being outside more right now. Find a reason each day to spend time outside. It can be an early morning walk/run/bike ride or maybe one after work. If you teach somewhere that you can go outside then walk during your lunch break or spend your prep grading on a bench. There are so many ways you can get outdoors more if you try!
I challenge all teachers to spend at least 20 minutes outside every single day, even in winter. For some people this sounds easy, but for others it’ll be a challenge. You can split the time up to meet depending on your schedule, but get outdoors! Your body deserves it!