“Nothing beats the beginning of year teacher tired”. Truer words can never be spoken. In eighteen years of teaching, I have found ways to manage the tiredness factor (asleep by 7 if I am lucky) but not the amount of tasks. Productivity, in the face of holiday mode, is next to impossible. Your only job was getting up a week ago and all of a sudden having seventy tasks to do .Information comes from so many sources, you are lucky to know what the day and date it is.
So what exactly have I learnt that can help calm the storm? Here are my top 5 tips for surviving the back to school blues:
It eventually gets done: every year I think the mountain of work in front of me is impossible. It will never get done and I will be doomed to fail miserably. Yet bit by bit, I chip away and things magically seem to fall into place and I get into a routine.
Let the little things go: really at the end of the day, no one really cares or notices if I don’t have that one display up or I miss trying that one strategy. Progress not perfection will be my mantra this year. Never has someone chased me because I didn’t have that display or try that strategy. (Fingers crossed this year isn’t a first).
Pick one or two new things to try: Your head swirls with hundreds of exciting ideas. The possibilities, the new information, the fresh start, the new content and so on. Meetings are constantly full of fresh strategies and parents provide new information that you want to use to help their child. It is impossible to get it all done. I have learnt to get excited over one or two things to avoid being overwhelmed.
Know that you are not alone: take comfort in the fact that every teacher around the world goes through this stage. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Hundreds of teachers dread alarms, miss their sleep ins and wish that the meeting would end fifteen minutes early.
Don’t forget to enjoy: the one thing that I always remind people is to find the little moments and enjoy. You may not love every aspect of your grade or new school but find one little thing a day to be grateful for. Stop and enjoy that moment. Celebrate those little wins.
So, it begins again. The speed race that is teaching. Zero to one hundred by the end of the first day! Today, I want you to know that you are not alone and someone feels your pain.
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