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Back to the Top Teaching Blog
September 11, 2015 Beat the Back-to-School Blues By Lindsey Petlak
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

    Here we go again: new school supplies, a perfectly clean and organized classroom, a fresh crop of students. Back-to-school is one of the most exciting times of the year for teachers! We talk about plans for our new students, ideas for classes, and eagerness to reconnect with colleagues, but what we don’t speak of are the dreaded back-to-school blues. Don’t deny it. I think almost everyone feels at least a small twinge of the blues as summer dwindles away and you get back into work mode. Here’s how I keep my chin up, focus on the excitement of a brand new year, and start off on the right foot when it’s back-to-school-time!


    MANAGE MUNCHIES

    I’m used to eating whenever I want during the summer, but that’s not a choice during school. Even during a typical school week, I’m terrible about planning ahead and prepping breakfasts and lunches to be eaten during the day. I’m a girl who needs to have both of those meals plus snacks to have the energy it takes to survive a day at school. So, that ends up meaning I throw a bunch of random stuff into a bag and rush off to school or stop at someplace like Starbucks and try to purchase the healthiest option possible.

    It’s my goal to use the weekend to do a meal prep of healthy, energy-packed choices to start out the new school year. I’ll save money and feel better as we sprint towards school starting back up. Check out some of my favorite healthy, make-ahead breakfast, lunch, snack, and freezer-meal dinners below!

     

    GIVING FEELS GOOD

    Everyone says it’s better to give than to receive, and I’ve always found that to be true, particularly when it comes to giving sweet little goodies to my teammates and colleagues. Feeling blue? Your teammates, school secretary, and fellow teachers might be, too. Whether it’s knowing their favorite coffee order and leaving a cup on their desk, or slipping them a simple note wishing them a great day, it’s sure to brighten their day and yours. If you’re up for making cute little treats for your teacher friends, you can lose days searching the plethora of Pinterest ideas. For under $5 you can fill a little jar, can, or bag with some thoughtful items that will have big impact on the people you work with so closely. Check out a few gifts for colleagues and my son's preschool teachers below. For endless ideas, pop on over to my Pinterest board, Gifted.

     


    SCHOLASTIC INSTRUCTOR MAGAZINE

    The next three tips were chosen and featured in the back-to-school issue of Scholastic Instructor magazine! (SQUEAL!) Read about them below, and check out more info in the magazine article

     

    GET ORGANIZED

    Just thinking about getting organized for school might give you hives (it does a bit for me), but actually getting organized always makes me feel better and more prepared to start the year off right. Part of this back-to-school ritual involves purchasing necessary teacher school supplies. Last year I needed a new teacher bag, and purchasing one made going back to school more fun and it was a practical solution to a daily need. Check out my previous posts (below) on the Scholastic Top Teaching Blog for tips on back-to-school organization, covering ugly spaces in your classroom, and hacks using ordinary items for extraordinary school purposes!

     

    LEAN ON YOUR TEAM AND BE SILLY

    Teaching is tough, no doubt about it, and a great team can make all the difference in the world. As busy as our daily chaos can be, great teammates and colleagues are our “teachers in arms” who are in the trenches with us every single day. When heading back to school, lean on those teammates, colleagues, and teaching friends who keep you positive, encourage you, and make you laugh. Most importantly, be silly with each other! We deal with serious issues and responsibilities daily. Remember to have fun, joke, laugh, let go of your pride and get dorky sometimes. Many of my best memories involve crazy Halloween costumes, dressing up as characters for special events, or playing practical jokes on close colleagues. Want to learn more about how much I love my teammates and how we "get by with a little help from our friends?" If so, check out my previous post, "Give Thanks for Great Teammates." See below for snapshots of past team Halloween costumes and our most recent district back-to-school lip sync contest. We won first place for our mash-up of "Welcome to the Jungle" (I was Axl Rose), "Eye of the Tiger," and "Roar!" SO. MUCH. FUN.


     

    EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE

    Beyond your team, school, and even district, connect with other teachers through online communities, blogs, conferences, online professional development opportunities, Twitter chats, Facebook groups, Instagram feeds, and endless classroom Pinterest inspiration (could spend hours doing this). Expanding your network in this way has so many benefits, especially as you kick off a new school year. First, it gives you access to new perspectives, resources, ideas, and best practices. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it extends the group of educators who will inspire, support, and uplift you as you embark on yet another back-to-school venture! 

     


    Do you get a twinge of back-to-school blues as you face the hustle and bustle (and let's face it, sometimes chaos) of getting back into your teacher regime? If you have tips on how to make the best of this transition, please share! Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

    Here we go again: new school supplies, a perfectly clean and organized classroom, a fresh crop of students. Back-to-school is one of the most exciting times of the year for teachers! We talk about plans for our new students, ideas for classes, and eagerness to reconnect with colleagues, but what we don’t speak of are the dreaded back-to-school blues. Don’t deny it. I think almost everyone feels at least a small twinge of the blues as summer dwindles away and you get back into work mode. Here’s how I keep my chin up, focus on the excitement of a brand new year, and start off on the right foot when it’s back-to-school-time!


    MANAGE MUNCHIES

    I’m used to eating whenever I want during the summer, but that’s not a choice during school. Even during a typical school week, I’m terrible about planning ahead and prepping breakfasts and lunches to be eaten during the day. I’m a girl who needs to have both of those meals plus snacks to have the energy it takes to survive a day at school. So, that ends up meaning I throw a bunch of random stuff into a bag and rush off to school or stop at someplace like Starbucks and try to purchase the healthiest option possible.

    It’s my goal to use the weekend to do a meal prep of healthy, energy-packed choices to start out the new school year. I’ll save money and feel better as we sprint towards school starting back up. Check out some of my favorite healthy, make-ahead breakfast, lunch, snack, and freezer-meal dinners below!

     

    GIVING FEELS GOOD

    Everyone says it’s better to give than to receive, and I’ve always found that to be true, particularly when it comes to giving sweet little goodies to my teammates and colleagues. Feeling blue? Your teammates, school secretary, and fellow teachers might be, too. Whether it’s knowing their favorite coffee order and leaving a cup on their desk, or slipping them a simple note wishing them a great day, it’s sure to brighten their day and yours. If you’re up for making cute little treats for your teacher friends, you can lose days searching the plethora of Pinterest ideas. For under $5 you can fill a little jar, can, or bag with some thoughtful items that will have big impact on the people you work with so closely. Check out a few gifts for colleagues and my son's preschool teachers below. For endless ideas, pop on over to my Pinterest board, Gifted.

     


    SCHOLASTIC INSTRUCTOR MAGAZINE

    The next three tips were chosen and featured in the back-to-school issue of Scholastic Instructor magazine! (SQUEAL!) Read about them below, and check out more info in the magazine article

     

    GET ORGANIZED

    Just thinking about getting organized for school might give you hives (it does a bit for me), but actually getting organized always makes me feel better and more prepared to start the year off right. Part of this back-to-school ritual involves purchasing necessary teacher school supplies. Last year I needed a new teacher bag, and purchasing one made going back to school more fun and it was a practical solution to a daily need. Check out my previous posts (below) on the Scholastic Top Teaching Blog for tips on back-to-school organization, covering ugly spaces in your classroom, and hacks using ordinary items for extraordinary school purposes!

     

    LEAN ON YOUR TEAM AND BE SILLY

    Teaching is tough, no doubt about it, and a great team can make all the difference in the world. As busy as our daily chaos can be, great teammates and colleagues are our “teachers in arms” who are in the trenches with us every single day. When heading back to school, lean on those teammates, colleagues, and teaching friends who keep you positive, encourage you, and make you laugh. Most importantly, be silly with each other! We deal with serious issues and responsibilities daily. Remember to have fun, joke, laugh, let go of your pride and get dorky sometimes. Many of my best memories involve crazy Halloween costumes, dressing up as characters for special events, or playing practical jokes on close colleagues. Want to learn more about how much I love my teammates and how we "get by with a little help from our friends?" If so, check out my previous post, "Give Thanks for Great Teammates." See below for snapshots of past team Halloween costumes and our most recent district back-to-school lip sync contest. We won first place for our mash-up of "Welcome to the Jungle" (I was Axl Rose), "Eye of the Tiger," and "Roar!" SO. MUCH. FUN.


     

    EXPAND YOUR CIRCLE

    Beyond your team, school, and even district, connect with other teachers through online communities, blogs, conferences, online professional development opportunities, Twitter chats, Facebook groups, Instagram feeds, and endless classroom Pinterest inspiration (could spend hours doing this). Expanding your network in this way has so many benefits, especially as you kick off a new school year. First, it gives you access to new perspectives, resources, ideas, and best practices. Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it extends the group of educators who will inspire, support, and uplift you as you embark on yet another back-to-school venture! 

     


    Do you get a twinge of back-to-school blues as you face the hustle and bustle (and let's face it, sometimes chaos) of getting back into your teacher regime? If you have tips on how to make the best of this transition, please share! Thanks for reading, and see you next week!

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