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  • Josh Arnold

Do Yourself No Harm

Doctors live by the rule of “first do no harm” when treating their patients. The careful way in which they question a person who needs care, looking at important diagnostic data, reminds me of the way in which we teach in a classroom. The doctor takes care of the patient assessing the best way to offer treatment that won’t offer any long term consequences. In these moments the doctor will put the patient first much as the teacher will put the student first each day.



However, I would like to propose a new rule for teachers to follow as they head back to school this year. First do YOURSELF no harm. Take care of your mental and physical well-being. And do this before you do anything else in your teaching and personal day to day to-do list. In order to accomplish this I need to balance three things: sleep, exercise, and eating right.


A few years ago I changed jobs and went to a new school, a new school district and I lost sight of what made me a healthy person. Predictably, my body crashed. I gained weight. I slept less. I stopped exercising. The balance of all the things that made me healthy was out of line. I put too much into the new job and not enough into my own health. When I went to the doctors office I was told to eat better and get more exercise. I shrugged this suggestion off for a long time and continued my slide. It wasn’t until I finally started to work on getting 8 hours of sleep each night, putting down all the foods high in sugar (I also stopped eating any kind of white bread), and running three or four times a week that I finally brought things to a balance.


Teachers want to be the best for their students each day. Teachers want to make a difference and an impact for the future. None of this can happen when we lose our balance and fall out of all the habits that make us healthy.

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