Next week many of you will start back to school. Others will start back the following week. We all know that you have not been just sitting around waiting for the school year to begin. Many have been designing, making, and buying for their classroom all summer. This is also the time to remember a few things that may make your year go a little smoother. Here are 5 things to remember this school year.
1. Don’t worry about those things that you can not change- Many times we stress over new policies, the number of students, the lack of supplies, the list is huge. If you can not change it, then be like Elsa and let it go. Worrying about things out of your control will only make YOU more stressed. Tell yourself, can I change it? If the answer is yes, then try if the answer is no, don’t worry.
2. Build relationships from day one- I know many know this but sometimes it is good to hear it again. Get to know your students. Learn something about them. As a secondary teacher, it was sometimes hard to do. My last year of teaching, I had 168 students, all seniors. They just wanted to be done. It was the relationships that I built that helped get those students through the year.
3. Become a team with your co-workers- Let’s face it, at times, it is you against the masses. Building relationships with the teachers around you will help ease the burden of dealing with students, administration and parents. By working together, you can reduce stress and possibly your work load. This is not a sole assignment. Use the people around you for support and support them as well.
4. Find an organizational system that works for you- Let’s face it, we have all seen the classroom that was designed on Pinterest. And you may have been like me and thought, “I wish I could be that organized.” Well, you do not need the coordinating file folders and binders to be organized. Take a look at how you best work and make it happen. You will be happier and you will function better as a teacher. Now, if your “system” is your college backpack with papers stuffed in to grade, well that’s not a system. Just saying it might be time to grow up a bit.
5. Do Not Overwork Yourself- I was one that would stay until 5 or 6 everyday. I was exhausted. Put some systems in place that will allow you to use your time more wisely. Like my Dad says, work smarter not harder. Set an alarm so you do not stay too late and leave the school at that time. Do not take papers home to grade every night. I would grade papers at school. Never took them home. It really upset my students that the argument, “you must have left it at home” didn’t work when they didn’t have a paper to be graded. Limit your time on the weekends for work projects. Saturday morning for a few hours, that’s all. Then, enjoy the day. Wearing yourself out will not help anyone.
I know most of you have heard this before, but it is good to hear it again. We need to do our part in not burning out. Take care of yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally. Find a hobby, spend time with the kids, take the dog to the dog park. Remember, you are more than just a great teacher.
Have a great school year and take care of yourself.