Covid-19 has made going back to school even more stressful than it always is; how can teachers deal with Back-to-school Anxiety? The best way to deal with those jitters at the start of a new school year or a new semester is by getting a fresh, positive mindset, backed by solid preparation. The following ten tips have all been proven in the classroom.
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10 tips for teachers to deal with Back-to-School Anxiety
Covid-19 has made going back to school even more stressful than the dreaded end-of-holiday feeling teachers, parents and students always feel. Even the most experienced of teachers are feeling those back-to-school worries. We’ve spent the last months relaxing, but now we are stuck with that feeling of impending doom as the new school year approaches. How do we deal with those jitters? The answer lies in prepping, preparation is vital to ensure the groundwork is laid for a successful new school year. Let’s look at 10 tips on how to deal with your new-school-year worries:
1. Have a fresh mindset
Having the right mindset is crucial for success in everything we do. So too should we cultivate the right attitude for the first day of school. Think of it as a fresh start. How many jobs can you start all over every year? See this as a chance to improve what worked before, and tweak what didn’t to make this the best year in education you have ever had.
2. Prepare the paperwork
Take care of all the admin you are able to do before school starts. That’s for school and your real life. You’ll thank yourself for all the free time you were able to create when school finally starts with a rush.
3. Organize the curriculum
Make sure you’re prepared. Organize your lessons and activities, make sure your class is well-planned and ready for the semester ahead. Proactive teachers plan ahead to prevent problems. They visualize a classroom that runs practically by itself and put in the structures and procedures to make that a reality. Reactive teachers waste valuable time repairing mistakes and trying to control the chaos. Have backup plans for when something doesn’t work or when something unexpected comes up.
4. Try new ideas
Try new techniques and ideas. Use this as an opportunity to be creative. Employ new systems, new routines. Tweak things that didn’t quite work in the past., and make the classroom environment learner- (and teacher-) friendly by streamlining lessons and employing positive routines.
5. Connect with other teachers
Catch up with old colleagues or make new friends. Teaching is a social game, so build on those relationships. Set up ways to communicate with parents and get to know all these new students that you will have in class, uncovering their talents and passions.
6. Focus on the positives
Life’s supposed to be fun, don’t dwell on your worries and the negatives. Be a positive influence on all these young humans that will be part of your life. Besides the learning, they will always remember the way you made them feel. You will also carry a small part of them with you forever.
7. Be resilient
Remember… You are their rock. The students are also anxious and nervous for the year ahead. It is your job as the leader in the class to be their strength and let them feel at ease by giving them structure and guidance. When you walk into that classroom the first day you are not scared, you show no fear. These kids need you to be strong. If you can’t be the boss in there you will lose their trust, and following that they will make your year very difficult. So quickly shake off those jitters before you walk through that door.
8. Smile confidently
When those students rush into the classroom they are nervous. Show/ Fake confidence so that they can feel at ease. Actually, do that for every new situation you find yourself in. When you go to a new party, smile as you enter. It shows confidence and will also make you feel more confident.
9. Reward yourself
Find something to look forward to at the end of the first week. It could be something relaxing or a reward to keep in mind when things get busy at school. A dinner with friends or that gift you keep promising yourself.
10. Be that strong school leader
Be a leader among all the teachers in your school. Engage others and be over-prepared so you can lend a helping hand. By aiming to be the ultimate model of a teaching professional, you will become a stronger and better educator. Your goal is to be the teacher that everyone goes to for advice, even if you aren’t there yet, that should always be your aim.
There we go! 10 tips to make you an unstoppable teaching force in the classroom and relieve most anxiety you have before the first day of school.
How do you deal with first day jitters? Leave your answer in the comments below.