Contrary to what most people believe, teachers don’t actually ‘dread’ going back to school. Well, most of us anyways! Actually, by mid to the end of August, most teachers I know are getting pretty squirrelly at home; I am one of them. July is all barbecues, beaches and sleeping in, but by August I feel…..agitated – the break was great, but my ‘rhythm’ is off.
The school year is all about rhythm and structure. We know what to expect: the daily schedule, after school activities, weekend and holiday respites.
Our students like this rhythym too. I know many of my students look forward to the first week in September to get back into the swing of things: learning, social life, sports, etc. It seems like in the summer everything….pauses. For both teachers and students. I was also one of those students who felt ‘off’ in the summer. Actually, my best summers ever were working at a summer camp that followed a similar structure to that of the school day!
Since I began my teaching career 13 years ago, I’ve had many summer time occupations: bartender, triathlon training, pregnancy and parenting, house renovation, e-Learning teaching, etc. Really, I look for things to keep my ‘rhythym’ in check and my mind from getting too sluggish. But come August……I get antsy.
Over the years, I’ve developed a bunch of strategies to curb my nervous energy. Here is my top ten list:
- Work on your classroom website (if you have one).
- Pick ONE great unit you know you’ll use again this year, and revise it – maybe add some technology interest or revise your assessments.
- Want to make some extra $$$? Create an account at www.teacherspayteachers.com and upload some of your best resources in your own ‘resource store’.
- If you can, go in to your classroom early and do a major cleanup – hello blue boxes!
- Clean out your own closet(s) at home, and make back to school lists for you and your family, while donating old items to charity or a second hand store.
- Love cooking? Make meals ahead and freeze them! I always thank myself for this mid-October when I’m already stressed to the max and REALLY appreciate frozen, homemade soups, casseroles, cabbage rolls, meatballs etc.
- Go on one last summer road trip – nothing expensive (as if you are like me you are out of cash come the end of August and counting the days until your first pay in September). Camping is always a great option in August – the parks are usually not as busy, and there are no bugs!
- Go back to school shopping! This is by far my favourite August activity – lol! And the best part is that you can shop during the week and avoid the weekend rushes:)
- Do your long range plans – I know, I know. But you’ll never take the time to do it in the fall unless your administrator asks to review them. Also, you’ll get a great bird’s eye view of your year and will have time to adjust anything before actually getting into the swing of things.
- Start an exercise regime (or update your current one). Come fall, the last thing you are going to want to start is a fitness program, but if you start a new activity or make plans now, you’ll most likely carry it through into the school year as part of your regular schedule.
Regardless of what you choose to do with your pent up energy, find something that will serve you justice come fall.
Hang in there…..the bells are right around the corner.
What do you do to curb your nervous August energy? Leave a comment with what works for you. I love learning new strategies to add to my repertoire.