THE WELL-BALANCED TEACHER: Stay Sane In & Out of the Classroom


[semester equivalent = 2.00 credits]



Suzanne Warner




Feel stressed? Feel as if there is not enough time in the day to get everything done? Feel as if you always put yourself last? These are just a few of the common and overwhelming feelings teachers express as they have more to do each day with seemingly less time to do it. In this course, for all teachers K-12, you will learn how to balance your life so that you can feel more positive about yourself and teaching, feel better both physically and mentally, and determine your non-negotiables, what to “let go” of, and how to have a mindset of self-efficacy. Remember: you have to take care of yourself first before you can take care of others.

This course is appropriate for teachers K-12.   Text cost about $10 on Amazon.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon completion of this course, participants will have:

  • Create boundaries and routines that will result in richer lives, in and outside of the classroom.
  • Acquire strategies for meeting basic needs of eating well, hydrating, being active, and taking care of spiritual necessities.
  • Learn how to positively manage stress.
  • Build positive relationships with colleagues, students, families, and administration.
  • Engage in more self-efficacy and maintain a sense of purpose.
  • Learn how to become more positively engaged with one’s school and community.

Completion of all specified assignments is required for issuance of hours or credit. The Heritage Institute does not award partial credit.

The use of artificial intelligence is not permitted. Assignment responses found to be generated by AI will not be accepted.

Completing the basic assignments (Section A. Information Acquisition) for this course automatically earns participants their choice of CEUs (Continuing Education Units), Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, or Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours. The Heritage Institute offers CEUs and is an approved provider of Washington State Clock Hours, Oregon PDUs, and Pennsylvania ACT 48 Hours.



Continuing Education Quarter credits are awarded by Antioch University Seattle (AUS). AUS requires 75% or better for credit at the 400 level and 85% or better to issue credit at the 500 level. These criteria refer both to the amount and quality of work submitted.

  1. Completion of Information Acquisition assignments 30%
  2. Completion of Learning Application assignments 40%
  3. Completion of Integration Paper assignment 30%


CREDIT/NO CREDIT (No Letter Grades or Numeric Equivalents on Transcripts)
Antioch University Seattle (AUS) Continuing Education Quarter credit is offered on a Credit/No Credit basis; neither letter grades nor numeric equivalents are on a transcript. 400 level credit is equal to a "C" or better, 500 level credit is equal to a "B" or better. This information is on the back of the transcript.

AUS Continuing Education quarter credits may or may not be accepted into degree programs. Prior to registering, determine with your district personnel, department head, or state education office the acceptability of these credits for your purpose.



Text cost about $10 on Amazon.

  • The Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane Inside the Classroom and Out

ISBN# 1416610693
by Mike Anderson
Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development

None. All reading is online.


Text: The Well-Balanced Teacher: How to Work Smarter and Stay Sane Inside the Classroom and Out cost about $10 on Amazon.



Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. 
Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 

Assignment #1: COURSE FORUM - Introduce Yourself

Read the Preface and Chapter 1: The Importance Of Managing Stress in The Well-Balanced Teacher. Then in 1-2 paragraphs, introduce yourself, share what you hope to gain from this course, and touch upon the areas of stress that you experience and how it relates to your ability to teach and live to your maximum potential.

Feel free to respond to other educators taking this course.

Assignment #2: COURSE FORUM – Meeting Our Most Basic Needs

  1. Read Chapter 2: Meeting Our Most Basic Needs in The Well-Balanced Teacher.
  2. Watch the TED Talk Eat for Real Change by Dr. Joanna McMillan:
  3. Read the online article 13 Easy Ways to Sneak Exercise Into Your Day:
  4. In 200-300 words, share 2 – 3 key points you took away from the readings and video and why they resonated with you in particular. Considering the following categories: diet, hydration, exercise, sleep, and spirit; in what (if any) areas do you feel that you are managing well? Share how you do so. What (if any) areas do you find yourself struggling? What tip(s) provided in the book, online reading and/or video do you think you could try? Describe what that would look like.

Feel free to respond to other educators taking this course.

Assignment #3: COURSE FORUM – Belonging

  1. Read Chapter 3: Belonging: Becoming an Important Part of a Community in The Well-Balanced Teacher.
  2. Read the following online articles about building relationships:

3. In 200-300 words, describe your current relationship with colleagues, administration, students and families. Is there one (or more) area where you would like to see an improvement in the relationship? What is the situation(s) that is currently causing you stress and imbalance? What strategies from the readings could you incorporate to help with your concern and what are some ways you could see yourself integrating those strategies?

Feel free to respond to other educators taking this course.

Assignment #4: COURSE FORUM – Significance & Competence

  1. Read Chapter 4: Significance: Teaching with a Sense of Purpose and Chapter 5:  Competence: The Importance of Self-Efficacy in The Well-Balanced Teacher.
  2. Watch the video Creating a Sense of Purpose in the Workplace:
  3. Watch the Khan Academy video: Self-Esteem, self-efficacy, and locus of control
  4. In 200-300 words, share whether or not you feel a sense of purpose in your current teaching environment. What aspects of your job are in place, or lacking, in terms of a sense of purpose? Giving some thought to the self-efficacy video, where do you feel you are in terms of both self-efficacy and your locus of control? Share a classroom situation that supports your thoughts. Finally, what strategies outlined in The Well-Balanced Teacher do you think would work for you in terms of finding more significance and competence?

Feel free to respond to other educators taking this course.

Assignment #5: COURSE FORUM – Fun & Balance

Read Chapter 6: Fun: The Importance of Positive Engagement and Chapter 7:   Balance: The Importance of Planning Our Time and Energy in The Well-Balanced Teacher.

  1. Read the following online articles:

2. In 200-300 words, share your main take-aways from the readings. What are some areas where you could incorporate more fun into your day? How would you do that? In thinking about a more balanced life, what are your non-negotiables? What can you eliminate and in what areas do you think you might be able to work more effectively.

Feel free to respond to other educators taking this course.



In this section, you will apply your learning to your professional situation. This course assumes that most participants are classroom teachers who have access to students. If you do not have a classroom available to you, please contact the instructor for course modifications. Assignments done in a course forum will show responses from all educators who have or are taking the course independently. ​Feel free to read and respond to others' comments. Group participants can only view and respond to their group members in the Forum. 


Assignment #6: Implementation & Journal

Decide one or two areas in which you would like to create more balance in your life. Implement the strategies you think will work best for you and over a course of 2 – 3 weeks, maintain a journal noting how you feel, what is going well, what is not going well, whether or not you start to feel more balanced, any thoughts and feelings at all that arise as you proceed in this journey. Write 500 words (or more) about the experience and reflect upon the experience.

Assignment #7: Mentoring

Mentor one other teacher or friend in the methods and information from this class and if possible, observe her/him in the classroom. Write 500 words (or more) summarizing your observation, how s/he incorporated the strategies of this course, and your reflection. If a classroom or any type of personal observation is not possible, then interview your teacher/friend to find out her/his reflections, asking questions such as what went well, where were any challenges, whether or not s/he felt more life balance, etc…

Assignment #8: (500 Level ONLY)

Choose one of the following three:

  1. Create a PowerPoint Presentation about a balanced life in terms of students and adults that could be used as an in-service in your school or local adult education workshop.
  2. Conduct additional research via periodicals, online articles or videos (a minimum of two) in one or more of the following areas – finding balance in life, the importance of a balanced life, ways to obtain balance in life. Document the key points you learned in either a mind map or 2-page paper. Include an analysis of how this research supports or contrasts with the course text and readings
  3. Write a 500+ word article concerning any noteworthy success you’ve had as a teacher in terms of being well-balanced individual.

• Please refer to the guidelines for our blog What Works: Teaching at its Best prior to writing your article.

• When you submit your article to your instructor, please also email a copy to Renee Leon THI blog curator and media specialist.

• Indicate whether or not you are OK with having your article considered for publishing on our website. 

• Submit your article to your instructor via Response field and The Heritage Institute lesson library  via Submit Lesson.  

• As you submit your lesson, consider sharing it with other teachers taking our courses by checking the lesson library box.


Assignment #9: (Required for 400 and 500 level)

(Please do not write this paper until you've completed all of your other assignments)

Write a 400-500 word Integration Paper answering these 5 questions:

  1. What did you learn vs. what you expected to learn from this course?
  2. What aspects of the course were most helpful and why?
  3. What further knowledge and skills in this general area do you feel you need?
  4. How, when and where will you use what you have learned?
  5. How and with what other school or community members might you share what you learned?


Instructors will comment on each assignment. If you do not hear from the instructor within a few days of posting your assignment, please get in touch with them immediately.


Suzanne Warner, M.S., received her Masters Degree in Education from the University of Rochester, New York.  She has taught mathematics in the middle school, high school, and college settings, most recently in Oregon. Suzanne has been lauded by administrators, colleagues, students and parents regarding her teaching and classroom management skills. Her students enjoy learning in a respectful, productive environment, where each student is in control of her/his own learning and behaviors. She strongly believes that all students want to do well, and creates a teaching environment for them to succeed. 

When not in the classroom, Suzanne enjoys spending time with her family reading, hiking, backpacking and traveling.


THE WELL-BALANCED TEACHER: Stay Sane In & Out of the Classroom

DeCoursey, Matt, Balance Me: A Realist’s Guide to a Successful Life, 1st Edition (Digital only), Realist Books, 2017, 152 pages, ASIN: B01NASADRZ. Offering a systematic plan and clear-headed advice, Balance Me inspires a personalized journey to grow success in all areas of your life. Whether you’re a busy professional, a stay-at-home mom, or anyone wishing to achieve goals without sacrificing well-being, life balance is a lot closer than you might think.

Foskett, Jackie, Danielle Falcone, Rose Munekur, The Stress Relief Toolbox: For Women Who take care of Everyone But Themselves, 1st Edition (Digital only), Jackie Fossett, 2015, 188 pages, ASIN: B018A08LXE. The Stress Relief Toolbox is a powerful resource book for women who are stressed out and have no time for their own needs. This book provides an array of quick and long term tools to get them the relief they need in order to have more inner calm and balance in their lives. By reading this book, you will discover: How stress affects women differently than men and why that’s important to know, Why self-care is the foundation for stress relief, How having a Toolbox for quick stress relief provides the instant relief you need at a moment’s notice, The Art of Self Care is a step by step process you can easily master, How to Keep the Calm going! Get yourself on the priority list by reading this book and learning the many self-care tools you can quickly put to use!

Jefferson, George, Stress Successfully: What stress does to your body and simple steps to take right now to succeed in a stressful world, 1st edition (Digital only), Amazon Digital Services, 2017, 50 pages, ASIN: B01N9VXJ9S. By the end of Stress Successfully, you'll learn the ins and outs of stress – what it is exactly, what it does to your body and more importantly, what you can do about it. This easy to the point guide will cover: simple meditation methods to de-stress anywhere, anytime, tips to manage your stress and gain control, what three things you need to stop doing, how to tell if something is about to become a stress-inducing agent. This book doesn’t just teach you quick fixes against stress. It also teaches you how to use them to leverage any stressful situation with ease.


Mendler, Allen N., When Teaching Gets Tough: Smart Ways to Reclaim Your Game, 3rd Edition, Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development, 2012, 189 pages, ISBN: 978-1416613909. When Teaching Gets Tough offers practical strategies you can use to make things better right away. Veteran educator Allen Mendler organizes the discussion around four core challenges: Managing difficult students, Working with unappreciative and irritating adults,
Making the best of an imperfect environment, Finding time to take top-notch care of yourself.


Rohr, James, Unlearning Stress: Creating an Easier, Healthier, More Balanced Life, 1st Edition (Digital only),  Coyote Road Press, 2013, 162 pages, ASIN: B00FK3V9K2. Unlearning Stress: Creating an Easier, Healthier, More Balanced Life has proven methods of ancient wisdom and modern sense to help you overcome the perils of stress. With 10 easy-to-follow steps, an entire new way of being is at your fingertips. This is a handbook to teach you how to quiet your mind, deepen your breath, ground your spirit, and open your heart. With a dynamic combination of lessons from Chinese medicine and contemporary science, this is a truly holistic approach to increasing your resilience and improving your health.