Tuesday, August 10, 2021
I was revising my syllabuses/syllabi for my classes – remember those from college? We also do them in high school. They contain the teacher information, expectations for the class, how the students will be evaluated, etc. I got to thinking that I needed a syllabus for myself.
I love, love, love being a teacher. When I am in the zone teaching something and the students make connections, it is surreal. But, the teacher life can be a very lopsided and unbalanced life. The school year is super intense and then we get summers off.
So, as I embark upon a new school year, I have some expectations for myself. I encourage you to do this, as well, whether you are a teacher, a parent, or just use the school calendar as a re-set.
-Know myself and don’t try to change myself. I am not as productive later in the day. I like to arrive at school early and work until I start teaching at 8:31. First period is my planning so I have about 1.5 hours to work.
-Make time for my morning coffee and quiet time at home before leaving. I like to get up leisurely and enjoy this time.
-Meal prep is something that makes me feel ready to start each week. Take the time on Sunday to do this.
-Pack my lunches the night before. Lay out my clothes the night before. Basically anything I can do the night before helps my morning self. I remember once Jack and Mason got the idea to just sleep in their school uniforms to save time in the morning. Ha!
-People before paper. This is something I repeat to myself quite often. I came up with it a few years ago. I love being productive but people are more important. If a student comes in my room, they take precedence over the papers I’m working on.
-Our principal sends a weekly memo every Sunday morning around 9 a.m. I am going to try to wait until Monday morning to read it. Why should I give up my Sunday – even if it is just mentally? I wish he wouldn’t send it on Sundays, to be honest. I can’t control that, but I can control when I check work email.
-Continue to keep work email off of my phone. I don’t get any work email notifications on my phone. I turned off Google Classroom notifications on my phone. I need to remember that I control my technology.
-Being outside is so important to me. The best thing about virtual school was the increased outside time I got last year. Walk after school and spend some time each afternoon or evening reading for pleasure outside.
-Try to do one fun thing each week and one fun thing each weekend.
-It’s o.k. to be routine oriented, but it’s also o.k. to veer from it sometimes.
-Take my showers at night. My mantra is “no wet hair in the mornings” because wet hair takes too long to fix.
-Keep margin in my schedule. Do not overschedule myself. For me, just going to work will be all I can do some days and that’s o.k.
-Use online grocery pickup and plan to pick groceries up right after school once a week.
-Say “NO”. I have learned that it’s ok to simply say, “I appreciate you thinking of me for that job but I am not able to at this time”. You do not need to have diarrhea of the mouth. You also do not have to feel bad for keeping margin in your life.
-Give myself grace. I have not had a normal school year for awhile. I will be exhausted from the schedule and the mask wearing. We only taught in person for 8 weeks with Wednesdays at home last year. This year I will teach from 8:31-2:20 with a 20 minute lunch break. I have 6 classes in that time period.
-Make time for what matters. This is different for everyone. You do not have to justify what that is to anyone and I don’t either.
-Take my personal days. I only took one day off of any kind last year. You can’t pour from an empty cup, yada yada ya.
-Don’t take myself too seriously.
-Sometimes I should go talk to someone rather than sending an email.
-Avoid negativity. Don’t cause it. Don’t get involved in it. There is one teacher I avoid because everything is negative.
What would be on your syllabus?