Reduce Back to School Anxiety
7 Ways to Beat the Butterflies
As the end of summer approaches, every teacher begins to feel those butterflies in their belly. Whether it is your first year or your thirty-first year, back to school anxiety is real and it can affect any teacher. There so many reasons for back to school anxiety: new students, new colleagues, maybe new administration, almost always there is a new curriculum or new standards. And while our reasons for feeling anxious may not go away, there are some ways to reduce the stress. Here are 7 ways to reduce back to school anxiety.
1. Go For a Walk
Going for a walk is truly the greatest stress reliever. Changing your location can easily change your mood. We all know the countless benefits of walking, but when the pace of our walking matches the flurry of butterflies in our stomachs, it begins to be easier to forget they are there.
2. Brainstorm with a colleague
Spending time with a colleague is a great way to beat the nerves of the new school year. Discuss strategies, share struggles or plan events. Go out, get a cup of coffee and chat. Often just acknowledging the anxiety is enough to make it go away.
3. Learn a new tech strategy
Teaching with technology is an ever-changing world. Taking a few hours to immerse yourself in a new teaching tool will completely get your mind off what is making you nervous. Not only will you feel better, you will learn something that will help your students.
4. Go teacher store shopping
This of course can be dangerous, because what teacher hasn’t spent WAY TOO much money in the teacher store. However, going in, checking out all of the things that are available, realizing that you have created things on your own that they are selling, is a great way to remind yourself that you know what you are doing.
5. Go Set up your room
This option is always a little bittersweet. Once you go in and set up, you are acknowledging that summer, is in fact, over. But does that have to be a bad thing, one of the great parts of teaching is the new beginning. Go in, get started, maybe this year you can be the Pinterest perfect classroom. Once things start getting into place the nerves will calm.
6. Lesson Plan
Once the school year starts, the paperwork starts. Beginning of the year forms. Beginning of the year assemblies. New regulations, required trainings. Most of our stress comes from knowing that we just don’t have enough time to do all we have to do. Of course you will make modifications once the year begins, it is such a relief to know your plans are ready to go.
7. Make copies
Why not? There are copies that have to be made. Beat the lines, the heat, the inevitable breakdowns and go into school for a few hours a week or two early and get it done. You will be able to check one more thing off your list and have one less thing to worry about.
Everyone feels something about the ‘going back to school’ season. Whether it is tremendous joy (you know those parents that cannot wait for school to start) or nervousness of a second year teacher (who is hoping this year is easier than last year). Now will any of these things make the night before school jitters go away? Probably not! I still, after seventeen years, cannot get to sleep the night before the first day of school. But it is because we care so deeply about what we do.
How do you beat back to school anxiety?
If you have any other strategies, please leave them in the comments. Sharing is caring and we are all in this together.