During the week I saw this handy-dandy back to school guide for kids and parents from our friends at the Ministry of Education.
Now, because I’m here to break down societal barriers and help us to all understand each other a little bit better, I thought that there’s real power in admitting that teachers need a little bit of back to school help too. We stay up stressing about what to wear on the first day. We’re not ready to get back into a routine and make lunch in the morning. We’re certainly anxious about making sure the alarm is actually turned on because it’s going to take a whole village to get us up and out of bed before 9am!
So, inspired by the MOE’s back to school tips, here are mine for real life teachers who aren’t quite ready for summer to be over.
It seems like such a good idea at the time, doesn’t it? Biking, walking, bussing to school in the morning. You’re out there in the world living your best life and totally nailing your ‘New Year / New Me’ goals. That is until… the realisation… you’ve got to get home! At the end of 6 loooOOOoooong hours with dozens of kids all up in your face, you’ve got to put your wee helmet on and find the energy to pedal your way home. IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER!
Oh no, no, no!
Sure, take the Waewae Express to school, but make sure you bribe a colleague to take you home in the afternoon to avoid being a sweaty angry mess at the end of the day. The bonus benefit of hitching a ride, is that hopefully you’ll still have some juice in the tank to make dinner. It’d be a shame to undo all of your good work by heading to KFC for a popcorn chicken snack box (who am I kidding, it’s a Deluxe Quarter Pack all the way).
Some days you’ll turn up to school with nothing more than a key to your classroom and your unwavering optimism. Other days you’ve got a year’s supply of empty egg cartons, 43 bags of different coloured feathers, the laminator that you borrowed from the office and have to return before anyone notices and 37 writing books that you took home thinking that you were going to write meaningful and individualised comments in, but never actually made it out of the boot of your car. On those days, make a fun game out of having kids carry all of your stuff for you by timing them on their trips back and forth as they bring in your teacher-crap from your car.
Making a salad and bringing it to school will make you feel like you’ve got your life under control. Gwyneth Paltrow’s got nothing on you because you have created a salad with the full intention of actually eating it!
Now, when the reality of your situation hits and you realise that you don’t want salad because in fact you NEED whatever’s the first thing you put your hand on in the bakery - don’t feel bad. We all have different coping mechanisms for transitioning back to school and pies are way more appropriate in the workplace than Prosecco.
It’s easy to let bedtimes slip in the holidays’ - well of course it is, it’s 50,000०C and those Coronas in the fridge won't drink themselves until 11pm every night now will they.
Let’s take a moment to mourn the loss of those 9am sleep-ins and afternoon naps in front of the air-con. Now dry your tears, you’ve got work to do coming up with creative ways to incorporate naps into your after-lunch program.
So dust off those hair straighteners, tidy up those unruly holiday brows and get the Berocca ready!
I hope that you all have an incredible time at your teacher only days and first weeks at school xoxo