Although this is my 3rd year of not having to deal with the whole 'back to school' thing, I can still remember the sweaty palms and the increasing heart rate that used to creep in when you saw the 4th ad for school shoes or you were walking through the aisles of Woolworths and were surrounded by those dreaded three words! You would think it would get easier to deal with, but with the ever growing demands on teachers... unfortunately this isn't necessarily the case.
The greatest thing that you can do for yourself in the lead up to that first day back is ensure that you are as prepared as you can be. I used to spend quite a bit of time in the last week or so of the holidays readying myself and my classroom for the return of the academic year. Putting processes in place also helped me to ensure that mornings were not stressful and I knew exactly what I needed to do and when in order to get through the first week!
Here are some tips that you can implement in order to make your transition back into 'teacher mode' a little smoother:
- plan your meals for the week and make sure you are getting good, wholesome food each day. Doing a bit of meal prep on the weekend will also help you when you are tired to not rely on the quickest delivery service to bring you fast food!!
- have your outfits planned and lay them out the night before
- set aside some time for exercise - at least 30 minutes a day - to get the blood flowing and the oxygen moving through your body. The first week back can involve a lot of sitting in meetings
- let your colleagues know your feelings - they are most likely feeling somewhat the same. Be careful though, you want to make sure you are surrounding yourself with positive people who are going to help lift your mood and make your day brighter!
- get a good night's sleep. This is a given for any night. We should be getting between 7-9 hours sleep each night. This may seem like a bit of a pipe dream, but use the Bedtime feature on your iPhone to remind you when you should be going to bed each night to achieve this. Not using your devices for at least 20-30 minutes before bed will also help you sleep better!
- make sure you have a friend or family member on hand to possibly 'vent' to who is not a teacher! You may want to be able to 'get it all out' without having to continue a conversation that revolves around school or teaching!
Lastly - remember that a new school year is a new opportunity to start fresh. You are going to get a brand new bunch of students that you can help mould into amazing young adults. You have another year's worth of memories to create for them! Seize the opportunity to get to know the students first before you try to 'teach' them anything related to your subject. Relationships are so important when it comes to teaching and can mean the difference between an amazing year and one that is not so great!
I wish you the best of luck as you embark on the 2020 academic year. I look forward to continuing to follow my PLN on various social media platforms and seeing the amazing things that they do with their students as the year progresses!