The end of summer means it’s time to say goodbye to a lighter schedule and hello to the busy and important work of the beginning of a new school year. While students will be dealing with their own levels of excitement, anxieties and expectations, teachers need to remember to mind their own stress management to make sure the year starts off successfully. There’s so much to accomplish and it all happens fast. With these remaining weeks of summer, it’s an ideal time to continue the teaching skills boot camp and focus in on how to better prepare for stress management. Following these tips will help make sure any teacher is ready for all the challenges of the beginning of the school year.
REFLECT ON LAST YEAR
As you prepare your mindset for the new year, take some time to reflect on the successes of the previous year. Think back on the best memories shared with students and fellow faculty. Think about those lesson plans that really worked and the positive surprises discovered along the way. These positive thoughts will help remind you of the successes you can achieve this coming year, even as you try to improve.
EMBRACE THE CHANGES
Not every year will be the same for any teacher. There are new students, new assignments, new courses, and sometimes even a new school. Focus on these unknowns and identify what the new challenges will be. These aren’t to be avoided or feared, instead look at these new challenges, set goals, and visualize the success that will be found as you overcome them. Stressing over the new aspects of the job won’t help and can only hinder. Identifying the challenges will help to dissipate the stress and allow you to plan for success.
Before new students enter the classroom, find an organizational system that will work throughout the coming year. Start with minimizing clutter and employing a method to keep everything in its place to give you a sense of control. Leaning on this control will help keep stress levels at a manageable rate. This includes classroom materials and supplies, desks, workstations, and even the home office. With all of these essential environments organized, your year is set to start with as little stress as possible.
Remembering to breathe and take quiet moments to oneself will always be a teacher’s best tool to manage stress. When things inevitably start to go off track, or conflicts and challenges arise, it’s important to envision what success looks like in your mind. Before school begins, take time to write or visualize an example of what a successful school year looks like. This can be what you hold onto and think about when the going gets tough. No matter what curve balls may come, focusing on your goals and successes will help you remain on track.
Enjoy the rest of the summer, but keep in mind ways to best tackle the school year stress that will be here soon. What are some ways you manage your back-to-school stress and what methods do you use throughout the school year?