bell is about to ring in a new year, but there is a group of adults who need just as much attention for Back-To-School preparation as the students: the teachers. Most people don't realize, but a summer break for a teacher is not a break at all, but an opportunity to lesson plan for the upcoming year, get those state required classes completed, fight in line at the local state board of education for re-licensure, and catch up on the required reading for next year.
Regardless, going back to school is just as exciting and demanding on teachers as it is on students. Unlike students, however, most teachers have the added stress of family and household demands. So, here's a survival guide for the teacher on easing back into the school year without fainting from exhaustion.
The Week before school starts
The Weekend before school starts
- Make extras for dinner each night, tupperware them in individual packages, freeze. Viola! Frozen dinners for either lunch or dinner next week.
- Get in the habit of getting up early now. The best is to get up at your normal school time. I know, this sounds painful, but it will make next week that much easier. Remember, you need to be more awake than the students.
- Get all "day-time" stuff done now: return library books, stop off at the DMV, wait in line at the post office.
- Make a list of all the daily things you want done during the school year. Make a schedule of chores, when you'll work out; remember, during the school year, each hour during the day is precious, use it wisely. And don't forget to include relax or play time. Put this schedule on the fridge.
- Enjoy a night with the girls or go out for a game of pool. Keep it low key, but enjoy the night.
- Get up only a few hours after you would normally get up on Monday - Getting your body acclimated to getting up early will help with the Monday alarm.
- Work out - Make sure you work out now; it will give you the energy needed to shake off that summer slump.
- Casserole heaven - Make several casseroles and freeze them. The first week of school is much like having a baby: nothing gets done around the house due to pure exhaustion. So, get the food ready. Make the casseroles big enough for left-overs for lunches.
- While doing errands, fill up on gas - This will get you through the next week without having to worry about running out on your way to work.
- Party out one last Saturday night - Watch SNL, Adult Swim, or go out. You've got to celebrate that last weekend of freedom.
First Day of School
- Again, get up a few hours after you would normally.
- Clean the house one last time - Again, you won't get to it during the week, so do it now.
- Relax in the afternoon - Enjoy your family, or have tea with a neighbor.
- Order a pizza or Chinese for dinner - Why make dirty dishes the night before school?
- Set out tomorrow's clothes, make a lunch, and set the alarm early.
- Get to bed early - If you've been cleaning your house the entire day, you won't have those panic attacks in the middle of the night. You'll be sleeping instead.
- Get up early enough to have time to stare at the coffee for a bit and get to school before those students do
- Accept that things will not go as planned, and that's half the fun of teaching
- Find a quiet moment to just breath and be thankful you're not in a cubicle career.
- Relish in one good thing from the day.
- Make an 'at-a-boy' phone call home.
- Pop a casserole in the over
- Work out
- Eat - stick the leftovers in tupperware for lunch tomorrow
- Relax just before bed
Rest of the week
- Remember to give yourself enough time in the morning
- Nap on opposite days of working out
- Go out Friday night with adults - being around kids all day is taxing, albeit amazing. We all need adult interaction.
Keeping a good balance between work and play is important for sanity's sake. Remember, the job is enticing because of all the excitement. And really, what other job gives you a management team of 30, many of whom remember you for the rest of their lives? And with that, let the school year begin!