(almost an encore)
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: The entire staff moved to a new building with almost no advance time. We worked like crazy to get everything unpacked and into our cubicles so we can work efficiently. This is the only item that’s different this year.
- 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.
- Then: We’d order pizza on my first day of school with students.
- Now: We still order pizza on my first day of school with students!
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.