3 tips on how to kick-start the new school year
If you are a teacher, principal, teachers helper, para professional, nurse, bus driver, front office person, secretary, landscaping specialist, mechanic, food service worker - anyone that works in a school and helps to get our amazing kids the best education and childhood experiences they can have - then this is a blog post for you. Here are my 3 things you can do to have the best year ever, and make it an amazing one for the kids!
Step 1 - June and July -
Stop caring about the kids.
Okay, that's a little over the top. But if you're going to get the proper rest and relaxation you need, you're going to need to give yourself some "me" time. Take a little time not to worry so much about your little bundles of energy. I have teachers who call me in the middle of July asking if I knew if Rita or Nikki were getting enough food this summer, or had I heard if Sean had gotten to finish that book yet? Enough is Enough! Sip your Margarita and enjoy it! It's going to dry up soon enough. This is the only time your brain has to decompress - with all the emotional baggage the education system brings on us, we need to have some time to let the brain let of steam, or you'll flip your lid when school starts.
Step 2 - Early August - Have fun!
When we get into the second and third weeks of August, and you inevitibly HAVE to start thinking about your classroom or your new schoolwide behavior plan or your new bus route, make sure and remember its a FUN JOB! It doesn't HAVE to be all stress and CPS calls! The kids come to school each day HOPING you'll have a smile on your face. And believe me, if your principal observes you, and the kids are ENGAGED and HAVING FUN that will be the most important thing in the world. And if YOU'RE having fun, the kids will. So do that stupid project you've always thought about. Mix up the chairs and then do it again three days later because it didn't work the first time. Ask the kids what they want to learn about and then LEARN ABOUT IT together! Just have a little fun - who know's? Maybe they'll pass the state test this time. Or maybe they won't. But having a little fun couldn't hurt.
Step 3 - Schools gonna start - Remember - IT'S ABOUT THE KIDS!!! :)
Of COURSE you can't just have fun all day and not learn the common core standards. I didn't mean that! Your JOB is to educate the students. It might be transportation in service of that education, or food to keep their brains going for that education, but everyone's job is to work together to get those kids LEARNIN'! So after you've forgotten all about the kids in June and July, and then started to think about them and how you can be having fun - then start really THINKING about the kids. The kids are waiting. It's late August. School is about to start. You're dreading having to go back to work, I KNOW. I don't want to do it either. I want to stay on my lounger in the sun and deepen this splotchy tan I've got. But the kids are waiting. They WANT to come back. They really want to see you, and see your smiling face, and the cool things you will teach them. So straighten your shoulders, lift up your chin and get to work! It's all for the kids. You are a warrior against poverty and hate. You are the last line of defense for our world. Welcome to the resistance!