The one with three quick tips to destress your teacher life

When we decided to be teachers, we knew we would be working long hours, taking work home, and having to juggle family, friends, and other outside interests (ranging from sports watching to reading to gardening to running to Netflix binging) with the little time left over. It’s hard not to let work take over because we have the job where we care, deeply, about our students. And we’re expected to do work outside of normal working hours.

How can you make sure work doesn’t take over your life? Here are my top tips for making your life easier and destressing your teacher life.

1. Don’t worry about keeping up with the Jones’s. We’ve all seen those amazing social media accounts full of ideas for us on Instagram and Pinterest. Don’t we all want a picture perfect classroom? Yes! But how long does it take to do all of that? Choose a couple things in your classroom that you want to fix up and you can slowly make your classroom look as beautiful as you want, without spending hours and hours on your set up. It doesn’t have to be all at once.

Your classroom is for your students. Your most important goal is to keep it happy, safe, and homey to welcome your students. They will love you and your room when you make them feel comfortable and greet them with a smile.

2. Plan out your meals. This is something you need to do at home, on the weekend. Trust me, it will save you TONS of time in the long run. I’m one of those teachers that eats breakfast and lunch at school every day. I prep my school meals on Sunday for the week, bagging up my daily snacks (goldfish, grapes, apples, etc.) ahead of time, and making any sandwiches or salads. 

I also plan out my weekly dinners. When I come home from work, my brain is fried. It’s hard to come up with anything to eat, or even have time to figure out what ingredients I have. I start making bad decisions, and next thing you know I’ve ordered a double bacon cheeseburger  to be delivered OR made a box of macaroni & cheese OR ordered a pizza with extra pepperoni. And all those things are delicious and wonderful…but best in small doses. Planning out meals ahead of time saves me the agony of deciding what to make, the extra time of being hangry, and allows me to get to work fixing dinner right away.

3. Pick your stay late day. Choose one day of the week to be your day to stay a little later at work to clean up, grade an extra set of papers, prep for the next week ahead, update your class website, etc. If you pick one day a week in advance, then stay an extra hour or two after your students leave. Shut your door and GET. STUFF. DONE.

For me, this day is Friday. I send my dog to day care (this frees me from running home to take him for a walk and to the dog park for an hour- city life). Sometimes, I even get my husband to pick him up. If I had kids, this would be the day it was my hub’s turn to pick them up and do the after school routine with them. Friday works for me because very few teachers stay so there’s no one to run into my room to tell me another story about that kid (you know who I’m talking about!). 

Need some help managing your time while you’re at school? Check out this post about time management.

What’s your best tip to destress your teacher life?

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