It’s time to go back to school! Yes, you read that correctly – as a year-round school, we have a shorter summer and kids come back at the end of July. The two weeks before the students return are filled with meetings, professional development, and general preparations for the new year. It’s also when I take care of a few back-to-school “rituals” to get ready for the big First Day.
Ritual #1: A new ‘do for Back to School! After a summer of sun, sweat (and let’s be honest, very little hair brushing), I always look forward to a fresh new haircut before school starts. Those hours spent in the chair are the last little bit of “me time” I can carve out before the craziness hits, and I always feel so energetic afterward!
Ritual #2: Wander the aisles of Target Is there anywhere more wonderful than the Dollar Spot at Target? I think not. Target has figured out that teachers will buy cute school stuff any day of the year and I fall for it every time. Cartoon-covered ice packs? Yep. Colorful calendars with tiny matching sticky notes? Of course. Target, I love/hate you.
Ritual #3: Eat as many meals out as possible. I enjoy eating meals out, but usually I only do so a few times a week. When July rolls around, though, all hell breaks loose. It’s almost like my brain knows that 180 days of Lean Cuisine lunches are on the horizon.
Ritual #4: Gain 5 pounds in two weeks. See Ritual #3. #noregrets
Ritual #5: Pledge to spend every minute of my prep time planning lessons, but actually spend 90% organizing the classroom. Every year, I have the best intentions. Every year, I tell myself that it would be so great to have the first two weeks fully planned before the first day of school. And every year, I fail. But don’t those painstakingly-hand-lettered desk tags look adorable????
Ritual #6: Lament all the things I didn’t complete during the summer. Essentially the same as Ritual #5, but on a grander scale. I blame Netflix and the availability of naptime.
Ritual #7: The Great Purge. I’ve gotten much better about sending things home or recycling papers throughout the year, but there’s always a pile of “stuff” that still needs attention. Good-bye, Week 3 homework from last year! Adios, half-finished essay!
Ritual #8: Pin all the things. If you looked at my school-related Pinterest boards, you would think I am the most fun, creative, organized teacher on the planet. Spoiler alert: Nah. But I still love looking at all the pretty pictures and I DO actually use some of the ideas every once in a while.
Ritual #9: Night-before-school jitters. No matter how many years I’ve taught, I still get major anxiety the night before the first day of school. I’ve tried meditating, getting a massage, going to a movie, making no plans at all, sleep aids, soothing music – nothing seems to take the edge off. I’ve learned that the only real antidote is simply…being with the kids! This year, I’m just going to accept this ritual instead of fighting it and remember that the anxiety always goes away when I see my students because…. it ALWAYS does!
Ritual #10: Start making Fall Break plans. Just kidding…or am I? 😉
Happy First Days of School Everyone!!