I know, I know. You just got into the summer groove and started to feel like yourself again after digesting all the chaos of the school year.
Then holy shit, you look at the calendar and it's time to get back to work. For teachers and students alike, this time is chalk full of stress (and that’s literally the last thing anyone needs). Maybe you need to learn how to take a load off, or you just need a reminder of how great you are at preparing for the new school year. Whatever your reason may be, here are a few ways to reduce that pesky back to school anxiety.
Reflect: Think about your summer. What were some of the highlights and accomplishments? Whatever they are, take them into the classroom! Give yourself some credit! A great start to the year is definitely ensured when you have positive energy and are happy with yourself.
Set personal and professional goals: Goals are a great way to motivate yourself through this stressful time. Think about things you want to accomplish not only in your professional life, but your personal life. Set goals that will help you move forward this school year and give you a sense of fulfillment when met.
Plan and organize: Knowing exactly what you need to do before the school year starts is going to seriously reduce your stress amount. Create a back-to-school checklist for tasks like classroom setup, curriculum planning, and administrative preparations (or just anything else that needs to be done). This reduces the chance of forgetting to do something, and helps you get all that stuff off your mind.
Review Curriculum and Resources: Make sure you review your curriculum and teaching resources before the school year begins. Familiarize yourself with any updates or changes, and identify any areas that may require additional preparation or support.
Self-Care and Work-Life Balance: It's very important to separate your work from your personal life. That is much easier said than done, especially as a teacher. Make sure you have time for you. Self care can be as easy as opening that book on your dresser that's been sitting there since summer has started. In your free time, make sure you're not looking at what needs to be done at work. You go to work to do work. Having a healthy work-life balance will benefit you and in turn benefit your students.
Plan Engaging Back-to-School Activities: Incorporate fun and engaging activities to kick off the school year and help students ease back into the classroom environment. These activities can help create a positive and welcoming atmosphere and foster a sense of excitement and curiosity among students. Your students are just as anxious, if not more than you are. This will help to reduce all that nervous energy buzzing around. You can check mine out right here, there's like millions to pick from!
Flexibility and Adaptability: The return to school may involve unexpected changes or challenges. Sometimes, it can be difficult to accept these changes. Remember that you should only stress about the things you can control. Embrace flexibility and adaptability, both in teaching approaches and your mindset.
Seek Support and Professional Development: Make sure you seek support and professional development opportunities throughout the school year. Whether it's attending workshops, collaborating with colleagues, or joining online communities, ongoing learning and support can enhance your teaching practice. Being able to grow and continuing to learn lets you know you are putting in 100%.
This back to school season, remember to be kind to yourself. You definitely deserve it. Remember it's normal to feel those back to school jitters, no matter how long you've been in the business. Of course, no transition is ever “stress free” but maybe this year it can be a little less than before.
Huge, love, lots of kisses,
Ty Tiger | Kinda Sorta Teacher