Apparently, September 29th is International Coffee Day. Now I know what you’re probably thinking. I’m a teacher. I have to drink a lot of coffee right? Wrong. I’ve never liked the taste of coffee, even when you put everything possible in it.
So with that in mind, I know a lot of people drink coffee. And right now, you’re probably thinking,”How do you survive without coffee? Especially as a teacher!” Well, I am going to give you my teaching survival guide to show you how I survive teaching without coffee.
- First things first, LEAVE YOUR WORK AT HOME- As a teacher, it can be easy to want to take work with you, either to grade or plan. Let’s be real, you aren’t going to get a lot done at home. And it’s also much harder to separate your work life from your home life. Don’t do it. For your sake. Let your work stay at work. Stay later if you need to or come in earlier. But work stays at work.
- Use your time wisely- Preps and planning periods are wonderful things. Use them to your advantage. I actually have a schedule most of the time with a separate list of things I want to do on my prep.
- Don’t overwork yourself- Teaching can take a lot out of you. Remember that you are just one person. Yes the world sees us as superheroes (especially lately in the pandemic), but you’re still just one person. Not every day needs to be spent planning and preparing.
- Do things you enjoy- Teaching, like any other job, can have hard days. It’s important to make sure that teaching doesn’t consume your life.
- Enjoy what you do- Teaching can be so rewarding. I love getting to interact with my kids. But on that note,
- Remember it’s just a job- I love teaching. I really do. But at the end of the day, all it is is a job. Don’t let it consume your life because it will. Spend time with people who aren’t teachers and do things besides teaching.
- Have a set entering and exiting routine- I don’t mean for your kids. I mean for you. Every morning when I come in, I drop my lunch off in the staff lounge fridge and pull up the window shades. Every afternoon when I leave, I change the date on my calendar, change the letter (we’re on block schedule with A and B Days), and close the window shades. I’ve conditioned my mind to equate the open windows with teaching and planning.
- Don’t get jealous- Other teachers may look like they have their lives together or something. You may see cool ideas on Pinterest or Instagram and think you can copy some of them. Do what you can if you think it will help, but do your own style. I teach very differently from the other 7th grade social studies teacher, and that’s okay.
- Ask for help- I’m bad at asking for help. I will completely admit it. But while teaching, there are times I feel out of my depth. The nice thing about a school is that you have a lot of people who do the same job as you. They’ve all been in your shoes. Reach out when you need it.
- Treat your students like people- I wouldn’t say I’m every one of my students’ favorite teacher, but I know some think of me that way. But one thing I know for sure is that all my kids know they can come to me for anything they need. I make sure to treat all my kids as people.
So I think that’s it for now. My basic teaching survival guide. I don’t have it all figured out but I still manage to do my job well for a first year teacher.
(Also, enjoy this cute picture from the last time I chopped off my hair that popped up in my memories)