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How to SURVIVE the First Week of School


I always say, there is nothing like the tired you experience on the first day classes. ALMOST. If you thought your were tired on the first day of class, you’re going to be even more tired the second day. By Friday, you’ll be comatose. It always happens. The thing that non-teachers never understand is one’s body completely adjusts to summer vacation, and teachers have to acclimate themselves to the day-to-day of the teacher grind. It’s brutal. I understand! So, I have decided to give you a few tips to help you survive that first week of school.


1.  Relax. This is rule number one. No matter how prepared you think you are, there is always something. Something that you didn’t plan for will happen, don’t freak out about it. You didn’t make all of your copies. You may find out that instead of 25 students, you have 31. You may find out that you are teaching a new class the first day of school. There was a system malfunction and students don’t have schedules…. Crazy things always happen those first couple of weeks, so just relax. You’ll survive and by May of the next school year, you will have forgotten it happened.


2.  Work on relationship building. I think a big mistake that some teachers make is jumping right into curriculum. I was guilty if that—day one was a powerpoint presentation and homework. The benefits of working on relationship building those first couple of weeks can’t be quantified. Relationship building activities help you familiarize yourself with your new class(es), the students with one another, and the students with you. Those relationships will make your year that much easier. Bonus: These activities are always fun and don’t have a great deal of pressure attached to them.


3.  Work on routines. Routines, like relationships, are your lifeline. If you fail to get your routines down to a science, then the entire year will be a struggle. Use this time to help students get acclimated to how things should be done in your class. Just like with relationship building, this can also be a fun experience for both you and the students.


4. Take care of at home business. Laundry should be done, the house should be clean, clothes should be picked up from the dry cleaner, groceries should be purchased…. I even tend to make sure my meals are prepped for the week, or my clothes are laid out. I avoid having to tie a lot of loose ends in my personal life that week—it’s one less thing to worry about. Trust me.


5. Plan that first day of school outfit! I am not the only person who does this! It seems funny, but it helps give you something to look forward to. Plan everything out, when you you look great, you feel great! This is scientifically proven. It is.


6.  Plan a “We Survived the First Week” outing with colleagues. Face it, everyone will be tired that first week. Be sure to connect with your colleagues so that you can bond and talk about the week. So much of a healthy, positive environment is working on relationships. It’s important that you take some time to reconnect with colleagues.


So, I know that this is not necessarily the list you were expecting, but so much of teaching is mental. Our mindset affects how we approach work. We have to make sure we take time to make sure we are really prepared for the week.


If you like this blog, watch the VIDEO, and if you want to learn about more tips, CONTACT ME.

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P: 773. 609. 3433  I E: XHEConsulting@gmail.com | Chicago, Il

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