It’s officially August 1st, and I’m sure that everyone can relate to the “about to go back to school” crunch time. I’m feeling it today more than ever with everything I have stacked up on my plate.
Last week, after the best interview I’ve ever had, I was asked to join the team of a school in a different district. It’s bittersweet for me, but I accepted this position. I am currently in the process of getting all the paperwork signed and resigning from my current school. This process would be so simple if it weren’t for the other huge thing going on in my life. Brad and I are buying a condo, and we are supposed to be closing on it at the end of the week. We were supposed to close on it last week. Everything got pushed back, and we are in panic mode. We have to get out of our current rental. I don’t have paperwork or anything really proving that I will be employed in August. We scheduled movers, yet now the broker says the closing date could change.
Needless to say, I am feeling like such a mess today. I am so very excited for this new chapter in my life, but I am also the most anxious I have been all summer. With August being here, there are so many important things that I need to remind myself of before the hectic beginning of the school year comes around!
1. Take a little time to relax with family and friends before going back to school. While it is very important to work on what will be happening in your classroom this year, you need to give yourself some of that time to prepare mentally and emotionally.
2. Prepare your curriculum, classroom, management plan, etc. for the upcoming school year. I will say, I’m guilty of not doing this, and as soon as I get to explore my new classroom and look at the curriculum points, I will be working on mine as well! The more prepared you are on the first institute day, the better you will feel about the first full day!
3. Try to get yourself back into routine. This is a really hard one. It’s so easy to sleep in when school is not in session, but if you don’t start at least a week before school starts, you will be unhappy with the result. Consider when you’ll be eating lunch and taking bathroom breaks during the school day, so that you are not hungry by second period or in dire need of a restroom break during your first class.
4. Read a book. All summer, I’ve told myself that I want to read a book, and I have yet to actually finish one. Last week or so, I began reading “The Taming of the Crew” by: Brian D. Mendler. During the school year, I was unhappy with my lack of good connections with parents and students, despite not having this problem during my student teaching, and want to work hard to improve that. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a teacher, even music teachers. It applies to all disciplines of teaching.
5. Remember why you became a teacher. With all of the stress I was dealing with this summer, I kept second guessing getting into the profession all together. As I started reading the book I mentioned, I remembered many of the reasons I became a teacher to begin with. One of the most important things to think of is that there are many students out there that cannot wait to come back to school because it is their safe space. As I begin this new chapter in my teaching, I think about all of those students who need music in their lives and how I can help them achieve their goals and help them to be lifelong learners and music appreciators.
While it is hard to look at the positives, knowing that your summer is about to end, it is crucial to come back to school refreshed and ready to be there for your students. While this is just my input, if you have any other advice for someone in my position or seek advice from others, please feel free to contact me!