Tips for a Successful First Week of School

There is so much excitement that comes with the first week of school!  All the pretty things that are hung in your room, seeing your student list, organizing all the things!  Just thinking about it gets me excited!  It is seriously like Christmas to me!  I get so wound I can't sleep about two weeks before schools starts.  My head swirls with so many ideas.  I just can't contain myself.

So then, the first week is here and there is so much to be done!  I never feel like I'm completely ready (thank you Pinterest)! And truth be told, it is never all done, but here you are...ready or not!

Here are my three tips on surviving that first week!  They may not all be what you expect, but I promise, they are key to your success this first week.

1.   Prioritize

The sheer truth of the matter is, you will never finish it all.  There is more than any one human, or two for that matter, can get done.  So make a list each day of your "Must Do's" and "Might Do's" for the day, don't overwhelm yourself.  As long as your "Must Do" items are done, then don't sweat the rest.  Give yourself grace in knowing that you may not finish everything.

2.  Take Care of Yourself

This first week is always exhausting and you often may end up at work late just trying to keep up with the coming day.  I promise this slows down as things get going.  Even with the extra time though, set a time for when you will stay after and then leave. If you like to work from home, set a time to quite and make sure you do it.  Be realistic with yourself. When the new wears off, and exhaustion sets in you can hit burn out really fast...but it can be prevented if you limit your time.

Make sure you get enough sleep, eat well, and hydrate yourself.  I am the person in charge of cooking dinner in my house.  That first week because eat out fest if I don't plan ahead.  This can be hard if you live alone or are single.  So plan accordingly, have a game plan. Mine used to be to make a casserole or soup the weekend before so that way when I get home I can eat quickly and curl up on the couch.  It may be asking your spouse to cook for the first few nights.  But planning ahead and will help you feel better and allow you to have the energy you need to deal with the bundles of joy walking into your classroom that first week.

3.  Do Something That Makes You Happy

Okay, so not that our new students don't make us happy, because they definitely do!  I love getting to know my new kids each year!  BUT! It is important to do something for yourself, besides the eating and sleeping.  If you are an introvert this may mean planning a day you go for a walk or some alone time doing something that makes you zen.  If you are more like me and need people it could mean planning a happy hour with friends or coworkers to have some good adult talk time on Friday after your first successful week.  Whatever your thing may be, find some time for yourself and do it so you can recharge and remember that you are an adult separate from being a teacher.

I also recommend repeating number three on the regular.  Remember to be you and have a life outside your classroom.  You can have a healthy balance of living your life and being an awesome teacher.  It takes time to find that balance in the beginning, but starting with healthy boundaries at the beginning of your career will help you to stay successful and avoid burnout.

I wish you your best first week ever! Please leave us a comment and tell me what you are looking forward to most as you start the year!

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