This is a Back-To-School Pep Talk for the teachers out there who are revving up for yet another school year after taking a well-deserved break. Last year, I wrote an article titled “Back-to-School and Sunday Anxiety” but I wanted to take some time and expand on this a little more.
You may be filled with dread when the “Back-to-School” commercials seem to be the only things on television. You might be trying to prepare for your own kids to go back to school as well as yourself. You probably have had a range of emotions wash over you every time you think of the upcoming year filled with new and old faces.
What will your students be like? What will they think of you? What kind of teacher are you going be? Are you prepared? Are you ready to wake up early again and stay up late grading papers and projects? What new strategies, approaches, or methods are you going to implement? How are you going to use all the professional development that you’ve participated in over the summer or how are you going to start back up after completely forgetting about school for the last two months?
These are all questions that wander through our minds as we suit up for that first day back.
I have some advice for you… Start Small
It’s important to limit all that rushes through our brains to filter through what really matters and what can be addressed later. This can happen to new teachers especially. Remember that your students will be in a new situation as well and they may need you to be extra kind, nurturing or show structure. Either way, you are a professional and an expert in reading what each student requires from you to be the best they can be.
Make a small list and keep it somewhere you can see regularly
- What makes you a good teacher?
- What do you want to improve?
- 1 idea for a new lesson you want to try
- 1 new method/technique you want to use
- 1 big idea you’d like to get to
Reference this list now and then and because it is small, you’ll be able to achieve it! Know that you have one of the most challenging and rewarding jobs on the planet! Tackle each day with the problem-solving skills that you have built throughout the years.
Remember that there will be good days and tough days. When a rough day comes along, and it will, take a moment and sit next to your favorite student. Ask them how their day is going and just chat. Chances are, they will remind you why you began this journey in the first place.
You got this! Good luck for the new school year and have fun! Smile! Laugh! Enjoy every little victory and reflect on all the good.
Are you excited to try anything new this school year? Let us know in the comments below!
Lauren Hodson is a middle school visual and computer art educator in Plymouth, Massachusetts. As a mentor teacher and professional development presenter, Lauren is passionate about creativity and making art accessible for everyone. Her passions in STEAM and Arts Integration are at the root of her goal to collaborate with classroom teachers everywhere.