Back-to-school is a time I’ve been pretty 50/50 on the last few years but this year I’m feeling more 10/90 (90 being the part of me that is dreading going back).
Being a teacher, it means going back to work, as a mom it means my oldest starting kindergarten and also not getting to spend my days with my kids; I anticipate my return to work being a hard pill to swallow for my daughter. She’ll be two in just a few days and I’m pretty sure I’m her favourite person. It also means saying goodbye to time to keep up on house work, crafting & DIY projects and afternoon naps.
Getting ready to go back to work after two months off would be hard in any career, I’m sure. However in some ways teachers are totally starting from scratch every new school year. I have a new batch of students that I need to get to know; learn names, figure out the classroom dynamics, take note of strengths and weaknesses, oh and a million other things.
I teach Grade 7, which in my school is a major transitional year for the kids. They move over to the “other side” of the school, away from the Grade 5 & 6’s and they finally get a locker. Lockers are a HUGE deal for the kids, a symbol of independence, the final stepping stone to adolescence, if you will.
Our school office opens two weeks before the first day of classes. During these two weeks teachers can go in and start prepping and planning. I usually only go in for 2-3 days. I like to get most of my materials in order in June so I can maximize my summer holidays and stress less over going back. My time at school in August is normally just to set up the classroom a bit, get seating plans in order, put up some decorations ie. posters with inspirational quotes and then voila! It wasn’t always this simple though, I have been teaching for almost 10 years now (less a couple mat leaves), so I’ve learned how to manage my time and organization a little better since those first few years.
The silver lining about going back to work would be going back to a routine. Routine’s aren’t all bad. I for one think they are key with kids, of all ages. When kids have a routine they are familiar with and can stick to, I find behaviour issues are way less frequent and that goes for my own children as well as my students. I don’t think that’s any kind of ground breaking information though, it’s simple logic really. I tend to have pretty big ideas when it’s time to go back to work. I envision becoming some regimented, proactive, early riser. Someone who can make then bed and do a load of laundry before leaving home for the day. I imagine getting up early enough in the morning to work out, shower, actually style my hair, enjoy a HOT cup of coffee and maybe even breakfast. But when my alarm is going off in the morning, I just know I will be hitting snooze at least 3 times before dragging my ass out of bed. *smh*
I’m a night owl, definitely not a morning person. I would really like to break the habit of staying up late, but it’s SO hard. I get so much done once my kids and husband are asleep and in bed. The house is quiet, I can put on Netflix, make some to-do lists, “shop” online a.k.a. fill up my basket but never checkout and Pin all kinds of recipes I may very well never make in this life time. Maybe this year will be the year? I’m sure I’m not the only teacher who has a “New School-Year Resolution” they hope to stick with; bring home less marking, start a new school club, coach a team, redesign a unit, read more books, or how about just change the date on the board every day (me = guilty).
So, do you have any tips for me? How can I dread going back to work a little less? How can I convert from night owl, to early bird?
Back-to-School Part 2: Kindergarten Kid coming soon…