The school year has just begun, and I am feeling it. Not only did my kids start in new grades, but I just returned to the classroom myself. I am a teacher. This is my New Year. Every year I get the jitters about going back to school just like the kids do. I think about things like who will be in my class, what to wear on the first day, buying school supplies, decorating the classroom, making sure I have enough textbooks and workbooks to go around, and setting up a welcoming environment, just to name a few!
This summer I had the chance to really focus on myself for the first time in a long time. I read books, had lunch with friends, went to the beach, worked out and went to see a therapist. It was all about me during the day when my kids were at camp. Now that I have been able to step back and relax a bit, I thought of some things that may help me stay on track and embrace the new school year.
1. Write it down. I will continue to keep a journal of my thoughts, ideas, and dreams. It helps me to realize that I am not JUST a teacher (or mom or wife). I am also ME, and I have a lot to say.
2. Plan it out. To say that my meal planning and prep slacked a bit this summer is quite the understatement! It was non-existent! I have a new planner and will focus on 15-20 meals that I can make easily on weeknights. Bonus points if I can do it in the Instant Pot or can make it ahead of time.
3. Put it down. My phone, that is. I realized this summer that I am 100% addicted to my phone. I know I am not alone on this one! One of my favorite podcasters said in her show this week “there are no podcast emergencies” in reference to letting her work emails sit unanswered for a few hours. Well, there are no real teacher emergencies during my home time either. I have to remember to put my phone down and be fully present when I am home. Plus, it’s a better example for my kids.
4. Work it out. I will make a plan each week to create a space for my workouts. It may be 5 a.m. during my quiet hour, or at 4 p.m. before picking up the kids. Either way, I know that it makes me feel better, and I am committed to keeping it up.
5. Ask for it. Being a full time teacher, mom and wife doesn’t come easy. I am learning from the many mistakes that I have made in the past, and will be asking for help more often this school year. Having someone who can keep an eye on the kids while I get dinner started or someone who can come watch the kids while my husband and I have a date night? Yes, please! I know it’s an extra expense, but I am already thinking of ways to trim the budget in other places. It’s a must at this stage.
I’m aiming to set myself up for success this September with back to school. This summer was a gift to me to be able to see things a little differently, and I am thankful that I have a job that lets me have the summer off to reinvigorate and refresh. Teaching for the win!