Back in my regular classroom days, preparing for school meant something different. Here are a few examples.
- Then: I’d browse the school supply ads and stock up for students that I knew couldn’t afford supplies.
- Now: I stock up on canning supplies and fresh, local foods so I can feed my family through the winter.
- Then: I’d plan at least a week in advance, usually more, to spend time in my room setting it up for the students’ arrival. It would take several days.
- Now: I’ll stop in this week to move my belongings from my old cubicle to my new one. It’ll take an hour, two at the max. Maybe Amigo will help.
- Then: I’d get the calendar up to date, noting staff meetings and parent-teacher conferences and any other commitments outside of the regular hours.
- Now: I’ll get the calendar up to date. This item is still necessary.
- Then: I’d spend a few Saturdays at school preparing my room and catching up with coworkers.
- Now: I spend Saturdays at the farmers’ market or in the kitchen working on stocking the pantry.
I also make a point of spending time outside. It can be as simple as weeding or watering the garden or reading a book on the deck, but getting out is an important ingredient in self-care. Back to school means back to my cubicle and much, much more. The process may look different on the surface, but underneath the hustle and bustle it’s the same: getting ready for a new group of kids and parents.