Where have the last 6 weeks gone?
As we start a new school term, it can often feel like we are starting all over again. New class, new year group, new rules and/or new responsibilities. It can be a daunting time and will probably be a term of feeling so tired that staying awake past 9pm feels like an impossible challenge!
So, here are 8 thoughts, quotes, ideas or suggestions that might help with some of those ‘back to school’ Sunday night style feelings …
1. Don’t panic … everything will take longer
After the summer break, it always feels like children have pretty much forgotten everything! School rules and expectations seem to have been wiped completely from memory. Even simple tasks like walking to assembly (or writing the date) will take that bit longer than they did with your last class in July.
This is normal and don’t panic.
Remember – keep calm, expect things to take longer, tackle one thing at a time and plan in extra time for it.
2. Be kind to yourself and to your class
Your class … your team! Going back to school can be tricky for all of us (teachers and children). Acknowledge this and give yourself time in the day/week to just catch up and build that team spirit. Whether it is an extra playtime, craft time, or class chat, plan in time to relax and enjoy being together as a class.
Your heart is slightly larger than the average human heart, but that’s because you’re a teacher.
3. Plan a ‘leave early’ night
It is so important to look after yourself so that you are in a good place to be able to look after your class. Try and plan in an evening at least once a week where you leave that bit earlier than usual (and don’t take work home). Make it a time when you plan something fun with family or friends.
4. Light Marking Day
Every now and then give yourself a night off with no (or little) marking. Be strategic and plan for a whole day with lighter marking. Or, if you know you will have lots of marking in one subject area, plan for a more practical lesson in other curriculum areas. This will either be great to help with a ‘leave early’ night or can give you the chance to catch up on some other things on your to do list.
5. Lunchtimes … talk to people, take a break and go to the staffroom
Take some time for yourself at lunch to ‘unplug’, take a break from work and spend time with colleagues.
It can be tempting to stay in your classroom to get a few extra things done from your list but instead add your lunchtime plans to your daily list. Taking time with colleagues is being just as productive … just in a different way!
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.
6. Remember why
Sometimes we just need to stop, take a step back and remember why we teach. Whatever your reason, remind yourself. For me, I found this quote …
“Every child deserves a champion – an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” Rita Pierson
7. Make a promise to yourself
Think about something that makes you happy and make a promise to yourself to build that into your week. Whether it is going to an activity class, visiting a friend or having a SUPER early night, make sure you plan that in on your daily to do list!
8. One final thought from Jenny Han …
I’ve always loved the first day of school better than the last day of school. Firsts are best because they are beginnings.
For activity ideas and inspiration …