When Back to School Is Something You Dread: 5 Helpful Tips

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Okay, maybe this makes me a bad teacher but I have to admit it, I am dreading going back to school. Don't get me wrong, I love teaching. I love my students, my classroom, my subject, etc. But the thought of going back to the same drama, stress, & demands makes me want to cry. Oh how I will miss these summer days of napping in the afternoon & getting thing accomplished at my home. I don't know about you but during the school year, I do very little else than school. School is so demanding that I don't have time for much else. I find myself sometimes resenting it because it takes so much of my time. 

After ten years, I don't have to spend quite as much time as I used to spend because I do have those "go to" lessons that have worked well. However, I am one of those teachers that isn't happy just doing the same lesson I did last year if it didn't work well. I want my students to be engaged. I want my students to understand and actually learn the material. 

As much as I hate to say it, being a good teacher is exhausting. It is so much easier to be a "bad teacher" and do lessons despite their success. I have to be honest & admit that I have tried this a couple of times.  When I have done this, I have never been happy with myself and always end up changing mid-day because I can't stand to see my students not engaged or understanding. 

So what can we all do to make this year enjoyable despite our obvious exhaustion & dread. After brainstorming & talking with some friends, I came up with a few ideas to help us not dread Back to School quite so much.www.cullomcorner.blogspot.com

1. Remind yourself of WHY you teach! 

I got into this whole teaching thing because I loved social studies. However, I quickly learned that what I really loved was my students. My students stole my heart from the first day and have never let go. As much as I dread going back to the stress & workload, I look forward to meeting & getting to know a whole new bunch of teenagers that I am going to spend the next 10 months with. It won't take long and those strangers will steal my heart just like the last decade of kiddos have! 


2. Don't overwhelm yourself! 

Yes, there is tons to do but remind yourself that you always get it done & school work is like housework, there is always more to do. I asked some teacher friends to chime in on their ideas & Carissa Peck of the mELTting Teacher suggested, "I think a lot of teacher get overwhelmed because we look at the big picture. Yes, it is important to know what's going on with your semester/year, but it is A LOT. Take small pieces." I totally agree. You can't let yourself worry about what you are going to do in December. Just do what you need to do for now! 

3. Don't be a perfectionist!

I know, we are teachers and that in itself makes most of us perfectionists. Well, STOP! Things do not have to be perfect the moment your feet hit the ground on the first day of school. Every lesson plan for the semester does not have to be written and you don't have to have every file organized. I love Carissa's attitude. She said, "My classroom right now isn't "Instagram Perfect." But, it will fit 30 students, and has the supplies we need. That's enough for now. Now I am moving onto the next "big issue."" AMEN SISTER! I am right there with ya! 

4. Enjoy Life!

I know you have been enjoying life this summer & you are thinking about how much you will miss this. I know, I totally feel your pain! But try not to push yourself too hard. There is always more work that can be done. So set boundaries. Don't allow yourself to work until you drop. Save some of yourself for your family, friends, & you. YOU will be a BETTER TEACHER for it! Allow yourself time to spend with the people who mean something to you. Let yourself watch that tv show you love, take a candlelit bubble bath, do some yoga, or read a few chapters in a book. Do things that make you happy...EVEN DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR! Your life is not just the summer. You deserve to enjoy life EVERY DAY! 

5. Find exciting things about Back to School! 

Buy yourself a new school supply item JUST BECAUSE! Get yourself a new "Back to School" outfit for the first day that makes you feel awesome about yourself. Plan a celebration with your teacher friends for the first Friday night back to celebrate your survival of the first week! Meet after school (since you will probably be asleep by 7 p.m.) and don't talk about school. Talk about your summer & how much fun you had! Just find reasons to enjoy the Back to School time.

The key is people, we have got to quit living for the summer & live for the every day. The reason we dread the school year is because we allow ourselves to put everything aside for our job. Our job is ABSOLUTELY important, do not get me wrong. But your life is too & you will benefit tremendously & so will your students if you will try to enjoy every day & not just your summer. 

Finally, I will leave you with Carissa's quote that I love, "Take a deep breath & remember, YOU ROCK!" 

I would love to hear your ideas, comments, & questions. Please feel free to comment below! 

Happy Back to School! 

Thanks, as always, to Carissa Peck of, mELTing Teacher for her contributions!

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