I feel that I am not exaggerating when I say that the week leading up to school and the first two weeks of school can be one of the most stressful times in a teacher’s life. Although there is a sense of newness and starting over when the beginning of August hits, there naturally comes stress from it. I start feeling the stress on two occasions during the summer time. One is when I start walking through the stores such as Target and I see the the four worst words assembled in the English Language; “BACK TO SCHOOL SALE”. I feel a shudder down my spine when I see it because I know what’s to come. Number two happens shortly after the sales and that is that first dreaded email from your school setting up meetings, open house orientations, and “work days” (I use work days in quotation marks for a reason that I will explain later).
Leading up to this time I enter a stage of not knowing what to do with myself. Do I work? Do I relax? Do I work and Relax all at the same time? In the end I just end up sitting around like a lump not knowing what to do. So I felt motivated to write this blog about some suggestions that I feel might help you figure out what to do with the last remaining days of freedom.
Go on a Weekend Getaway
You’ve gone on the big family vacations. You have possibly been on a cruise or a trip to the beach, but that was all the way back in June or July and you may desperately be in the need of one last hurrah before you hang up the swimsuit until next June. I am currently writing this in the confides of an undisclosed bed and breakfast in an undisclosed location in Virginia. Or perhaps are you unable to afford going on a week long trip or unable to afford an extravagant location. There are a lot of bed and breakfasts that you are probably unaware of and they are sometimes cheaper than staying at a hotel. Or maybe you can find an event that is going on during the weekend and just stay one night in a hotel. Either way, sometimes you need to get away and recharge your batteries before getting into the grind of a school year.
Read One Last Good Book
One thing that I know that relaxes me is reading a good book. It allows me to disconnect from the monotony of life and take time to read a book. That being said, when the school year begins it gets tough for me to slow down and read a book. The reason why is that I spend all day reading textbooks, online teaching articles, grading papers, and etc. When I get home, the last thing I want to do is sit down and read something I don’t have to. If you are a book nerd like myself but can’t read during the school year then maybe reading one more book will help you be mentally ready.
Have A Big Get Together With Friends and Family
Go out for dinner, bowl, see a movie, or do something more personal back at home and have some people over. I know that a lot of times during the school year I focus so much on my school work that I forget to make time for my friends and family. So why not get together before you go back to school and make time for the people most important to you.
Start Up A New Hobby
I mentioned in a previous blog post about certain hobbies that I do to relieve stress, but I think its important to have hobbies and activities that either feed your body, mind, or soul. It could be blogging, working out, reading, basketball, or whatever you want it to be. Have something that makes you excited to do after a long day teaching. A school year will drain you in so many ways and you need to have things that will fill your cup.
That’s right I said it! If you just want to lay around all day and watch t.v, play video games, binge watch a movie series, or whatever go for it! You do not need to feel guilty for pampering yourself by laying at home and taking time to let your mind and body rest. Teachers, principals, and especially society will make you feel guilty because you have “summers off” and that if you aren’t working during the summer then that makes you less of a contributor to society and less of a teacher. You do you and if laying around and resting doesn’t stress you out or feel guilty then be my guest. *Disclaimer* I say this as long as you have a general plan of what you are doing when you get back to school.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this is going to sound preachy but to be honest the best advice I can give you in how to spend at least some of your week leading up to going back is to go to your room (if you have permission to get in) and work. I personally went to my room twice this past week because I’m about to tell you the biggest lie that schools tell you. Usually, schools will have between 4-6 teacher “workdays” where in theory you “work” in your room for the upcoming year. This is a lie that schools say to make you think you will have time to work in your room. Those “work days” will consist of all day staff meetings, department meetings, talking with parents, and talking individually with other staff members about stuff that could honestly be sent in an email. I spent those two days this past week going to my room and getting my room put together and ready for the kids. I accomplished that and now when we go back this upcoming Tuesday, I will not have to worry about my room setup.
Another way to be productive is to begin lesson planning. Try and get a couple of weeks in advance so that way you can stay ahead of the curve and not be as stressed as the school year goes. A plus would also be getting the materials made as well because I can make a lesson plan in ten minutes but it takes me two hours+ to make all the materials for that lesson.
In summary, you need to find what relieves your stress the most. If you won’t be stressed leaving for the weekend or just laying around relaxing then go on ahead and enjoy yourself. If it will make you feel better to do some work while you relax then that’s fine. In the end you have to think about what’s best for you because no one is going to take better care of yourself then you. (Yes I am totally doing a cop-out on the advice giving). The school year is a long one and I don’t want anyone having regrets about what they could’ve done when they had the chance.
Homework assignment: What mindset do you have as a teacher going into the last week of summer? Do you relax or is your last week glorified teacher workdays? Comment below and let me know!!!
Thank you all for the incredible support it means the world to me! To my teacher readers! If you are a teacher that isn’t going into there first year, God Bless you, you are an elite core and amazing! To my first year teachers, good luck and don’t forget to breath!!
If you like what you’ve seen and want to see more, comment, like, and especially FOLLOW 🙂 If you liked what you saw then here is more content I have written
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