BY KAREN CAMPBELL
Weakley County Schools Communications Director
SHARON (October 9) – Inspired by blogs from principals and teachers using the hashtag #selfcarechallenge, Sharon School’s Michelle Clements and Beth Davidson crafted a means to transform a usually tense time to one of inspiration.
“The week before fall break is always stressful. But during the pandemic it’s especially stressful,” noted Principal Clements, acknowledging the toll taken when teachers, already facing the rigor of adopting a new English Language Arts curriculum, had to add learning new technologies, taking on both in-class and distance learning assignments, and monitoring the social and emotional needs of the K-8th-grade student population because of the COVID-19 crisis.
Assistant Principal Davidson discovered the #selfcarechallenge idea on one of the numerous blogs featuring ideas from fellow educators. The two had been holding the self-care emphasis to just the right time. This week they launched it.
Using simple scratch-off cards they created with scratch-off circles available at Target or online at Amazon.com, the two encouraged teachers to participate and discover what “challenge” was theirs for the week. Removing the covering revealed such actions as take a walk, spend time with a loved one, take a nap, drink a coffee, spend time outside, look for stars at night, watch a favorite movie or do something nice for someone.
Staff were then encouraged to post a photo on Facebook of completing the challenge and tagging either principal. Those that participated were then entered into a drawing to win prizes such as a month membership at The Sideline in Martin including a session with a personal trainer; a drink from Skyhawk Nutrition; and a cooler bag donated by Coordinated School Health and Weakley County School Nurses.
“We’ve had a great response,” said Clements. “Our School Resource Officer Steve Fulcher is a perfect example. He received the ‘do something nice from someone’ challenge and purchased lots of items for our school store. So, in both tangible and intangible ways, our students are benefitting from the staff’s self-care!”