The Most Important Resource in the Class: Teachers Put Yourselves First
How often have you started back at school and before you know it, literally by the 5th of September, all your good intentions for yourself are gone out the door; the good breakfast, a well-prepared healthy lunch, the after school walk, the early nights and seeing your friends more often? Just like the instructions given on a flight, put on your own oxegen mask before you put on that of a child's, you need to put yourself first before you can look after anyone else.
Well that's what happens when you have the overwhelming responsibilities of back-to-school which we do not need to list! Whatever happens, teachers usually get bogged down in trying to get everything in order by the end of September - the planning, the IEP'S, meeting parents, liaising with support teachers, organising your classroom, getting your recording/assessments into place, and the list is endless. You always imagine that Pinterest teacher who has everything organised is laughing at you somewhere. But guess what, teaching is the job that is never done. So if you get everything on your list done by the end of September, there will always be more jobs. And while the children and parents will be very happy, will you? And if you continue in this vain will you be happy by Christmas or counting down to holidays always exhausted from doing too much? So why don't you do something different this year. Put yourself first and the rest will follow. Here are some tips that might help!
- Mind yourself, allow yourself time and space to get back into the routine of school, have some treats lined up for the first few evenings or weekends
- Do not be too hard on yourself with new class levels, children or new working environments, September is like a brand new job each year, so give yourself the permission to feel a little out of zinc
- Each day, say how many days you are back. This has a great way of grounding yourself. If it feels manic and you say I am back 8 days.... this will help, trust me!
- Focus on assessment rather than planning the first few weeks, get to know your children and build the relationships with them, the most important aspect of school
- Do not make it your mission to decorate your classroom, plan and set work that can become your displays, and make some permanent ones, that will last the whole year!
So this September 1st put yourself first!