Back-to-School Survivial Guide
August 2017 by BOE
Teachers this is for you:
- When the going gets tough and it will, remember why you began teaching in the first place. Write it down and put it in a place that you can see as a daily reminder.
- Engage in self care. Self-care is a strange phenomenon. Self-care is critical to refilling what the daily grind drains. Figure out what works best for you. Try to do something every day. Taking even a few minutes for yourself can make a big difference.
- Keep a jar of successes and memories. Use a jar of memories to keep yourself motivated. During the school year, anytime something funny or memorable happens in your classroom, write it down on a slip of paper and put it in a jar. On tough days, open the jar and pull out a few memories to read. This will shift your focus to better times and better days.
Students this is for you:
- Select a good study space: Do not just start studying anywhere. Find a quiet, orderly place. A peaceful environment will be an immeasurable help to your concentration.
- Call friends: Talking with a trusted friend or family member about how you are feeling helps because most of them have been there, done that or are in the same boat as you. Talking things out can have the immediate effect of reducing stress levels. Sharing with someone else helps us feel we aren't alone which can be so helpful.
- Prioritize & Plan: "Failing to plan is planning to fail." Plan how to allocate your time and what to study. Engage
- Ask for Help: Many students are afraid to ask for help. If you do not understand what to do or study, ask someone. You could speak to your teacher during office hours, or talk to your friends and classmates. You are all working together and in the same boat. Your teacher wants to see you succeed and so do your friends; they most likely will be glad to help.
- Catch some sleep: Everyone has different sleep habits, but it is never healthy to pull an all-nighter. Make sure to get the sleep your body needs.
Parents this is for you:
- Don't let lunch boxes get the better of you: Freeze sandwiches, slices of homemade cake and squeeze pack yogurts to help you in the desperate moments.
- Your child WILL be tired and moody: That's because they will be exhausted. Primary school timetables these days are a merry-go-round of Chinese, sport, art etc. So let them relax after school.
- Be a friend to make a friend: It's not only your child who may feel nervous as they start at school. It can be daunting for new parents, especially if you don't know many people at the school. Be bold — ask about their lives, offer to meet for coffee. If you don't hit it off, move on. The friends you do make can be "emergency friends" to call on when cars break down or a work crisis strikes.
- Create some sanity savers: Put all the uniforms, sports kits, homework and bags in one cupboard instead of being scattered through bedrooms. Get children to put on shoes before breakfast. Do anything in advance to save your sanity in that moment when you rushing out of the door.
- Don't feel guilty if you can't volunteer: If you work full time or care for babies or toddlers it's hard to be able to volunteer to help with class reading, trips and so on. Don't feel guilty. Where possible, choose one or two tasks a year so you feel connected.
- Slow down school years: The terms can rush by in a blur of shouting and stress, so try to slow the pace. Occasionally get to school early for a play; head to the park or beach for a picnic instead of the usual evening routine.