As long as I can remember, each year begins at the start of school. I may be semi-retired, but I’m already having those back-to-school
nightmares dreams! Here are some teacher survival tips for handling the new school year.
- Never live for vacations. Sure, they can be marvelous, but there’s no telling what might happen during that supposedly carefree time off. I’ve had a taste of that disappointment. Live for each day instead. Live for each school day.
- Cut yourself some slack. The beginning of school can be hectic, so don’t beat yourself up if those trips to the gym or time with a loved one get squished a bit. Or a lot. Give yourself time to get into the workplace rhythm again.
- Set up your room early, if possible. If you get a head start on organizing bulletin boards and arranging tables and chairs, you’ll have more time to catch up with colleagues and offer support to others.
- Assess your digital organization. Maybe your desktop is neatly organized without stray files and your documents are not tossed into one humongous file called “school.” If not, this is a great time to think about more specific categories for documents, purge junk, and clear that inbox.
- Get back on a workday sleeping schedule. If you’re a night owl, it’s time to transition to being an early bird. (Hey, wasn’t that clever?) There are apps for that transition; iPhones also delight in giving you bedtime reminders. If you have to drink a lot of caffeine to focus, you might not be getting enough sleep.
- Remember that the only behavior you can control is your own. Sure, you must set up an environment and use strategies that encourage cooperation and a sense of community among your students. But in the end, all you control is your response to those around you. Respond with kindness, patience, self-control, and flexibility.
- Look forward to all you will learn this year. Isn’t that why we teach? Because we love to learn? You’ll learn from everyone, including those tough kiddos, if you have that growth mindset we are endlessly hammering into kids.
- Teach all kids well, not just those who look like you.
I hope your new school year is a wonderful adventure!