After days of fun in the sun, messy hair, don’t care attitudes, and casual mornings enjoying your coffee or tea in a real mug, do you suddenly find yourself going to bed early, setting an alarm, and feeling like there isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything on your to-do list. Back to school is both an exciting and exhausting time of year. Here are three things you should do now to get ready to make the transition easier.
PUT TOGETHER A SCHOOL CARE KIT
Let’s talk self-care. During the first weeks of back-to-school preparation, in-service, and PD, you're going to love that you took the time to put together a care kit you leave at school. Take a look at what I include in mine:
*A comfy pair of shoes - You'll be on your feet a lot, so a change of shoes during conference or even a short break can make a difference. Wear those stylish shoes and look fantastic but trust me when I say your feet will need rescuing at some point.
*Face spritzer At first I thought this was all hype. I’d read about carrying a face spritzer for travel, so I finally decided to give it a go. Well let me tell you I became an instant believer. It’s amazing how much a refreshing face spray can bring you back to life after a long, tiring day. I use one made by Too Faced, but a quick search will give you a ton of options.
*Non-perishable snacks and a few bottles of water. Chances are you’re going to miss lunch. I have a small container of high protein bars, mixed nuts or trail mix, instant noodles or oatmeal packs, and flavored protein water add-ins. When I’m hydrated and have taken in enough protein, it makes a huge difference in not only my energy levels but my general mood as well.
*Ibuprofen, anti-diarrheal, antacid, and hand sanitizer. You may laugh at this, but I won’t be caught off guard having to run to the nurse. All of these have saved my life at some point or another during my career. 😊
*Change of clothing. Throw in a change of clothes from top to bottom so you’re prepared when the unexpected becomes a reality. Depending on the grade level you teach, there are all sorts of possibilities waiting to happen. And they happen.
*A sweater and small blanket or throw. Room temperatures will vary and become unstable at least once during the school year. Be prepared. The throw is perfect for wrapping up and taking a quick power nap. Lock your door, turn out the lights, and set an alarm on your phone!
*Other Necessities. Some of the extras for me include a set of contacts, breath mints, a small flashlight for power outages, a phone charger, and hair accessories.
SIGN UP FOR THE CALM.COM APP
I could tell you how I spend 20 minutes every day in a meditative state of bliss, but honestly, it doesn't happen daily. The app can be used for quick meditations, listening to soothing nature sounds, and claims to reduce anxiety and boost confidence. The best thing is that it’s free for teachers by completing a simple request. Use it in the classroom with kids as well. That's a $60 savings! I'll take it. Get the app at https://www.calm.com/schools The approval process takes a couple of days, and then you are ready to go with the Calm Schools Initiative. I really like using the Soundscapes for background music when students are working independently.
USE A PLANNER
I’ll confess I’m a planner addict, but there is value in having some type of system in place where you plan out your personal and professional life. Planner choices are endless from paper to digital, and it really depends on your preference. There are free templates online for you to grab and download, so you don’t need to pay anything if you don’t want to. Click here to see one example that I Googled. https://onplanners.com/daily-planner-templates-printable
Right now I’m using the Erin Condren weekly planner for my personal business after trying out The Happy Planner and Passion Planner. She has a teacher lesson planner, also. I’ve considered going digital, but something about writing out my plans on paper is strangely satisfying, so I’m sticking with what I know for now.
Show me some love by commenting and sharing this post. I'd love to hear your thoughts and be sure to share your back to school ideas, too!