The 12 Stages of Going Back to Work for Teachers

Yesterday was my first day back to preplanning for the 2015-16 school year (oh my goodness, how time flies by!)  I was absolutely thrilled about the idea of going back to work because I love my job, I really enjoy the people that I work with, and I am the type of person who is innately motivated by completing tasks.  It’s strange, I know.  Most of my teacher friends were more like:

But despite my enthusiasm, I am no stranger to the 12 Stages of Going Back to Work for Teachers.

1. Denial

“What day is tomorrow again?  The day I go back to work???  Naw, can’t be.  I just started my summer vacation.”

2. Protest

“I refuse to go to bed at a decent time.  It’s my LAST DAY OF VACATION!  I’ll worry about tomorrow TOMORROW!”

3. Apathy

“It’s cool.  I mean, whether I’m in jeans and a t-shirt at my house or in my classroom, who cares? It’s all the same blah-blah as last year.  Been there done that.”

4. Anxiety

::Alarm Goes Off::  “OH MY GOD!!!  IT’S TOO EARLY!!  I HAVE TO PACK ALL MY BOOKS AND POSTERS AND MARKERS AND COFFEE CUPS AND NOTEBOOKS AND REMEMBER TO BRING COFFEE BECAUSE THE SCHOOL’S IS WRETCHED AND MY PANTS DON’T FIT ANYMORE AND WE HAVE TO SIT IN THOSE AWFUL CHAIRS ALL DAY AND THERE’S NO AIR CONDITIONING IN THE CAFETERIA AND I DON’T REMEMBER WHERE MY PARKING PASS IS AND THERE’S A STAIN ON THE SHIRT I WAS GOING TO WEAR AND….!!!!!!!”

5.  Elation

Reuniting with all your friends who you haven’t seen since June is so exciting!  You have so much to catch up on!  And there’s usually breakfast with lots of sugary goodies on the first day back.

6. Optimism

After looking around the room at the new faces and starting to hear the same old procedures from your years gone by, you realize that you’re going to be just fine.  Like riding a bike.

7.  Overwhelmed

The laundry list of meetings, agendas, task forces, subcommittees, classroom setup, orientation night prepping, creating syllabi and the first week’s lesson plans, etc. Oh, and it’s all due by Friday!

8. Sloth

Sitting in too many back-to-back meetings drains the light out of you, so tackling that list that gave you a heart attack doesn’t seem quite so daunting.  You’ll get to it; it will all get done.

9. Nesting

Finally, you’re in your room and the posters begin to find their homes on the walls, you’ve decided on the final layout for the desks for the first few weeks/months/all year, and you’re in the Room Preparation Zone!

10. Mania

OH SNAP!  ORIENTATION IS TOMORROW!

11. Peace

Everything is finally in its place, just like you knew it would be all along.

12. Eagerness

Now that you’ve found your back-to-work routine, your classroom is prepped, supplies and copies are ready, it’s time for the kiddos to arrive.

The Last Week of Summer

If you’re an educator, you know that the last week before heading back to school is a treasured timed.  I’ve been attempting to cross off a few more of the tasks that I designated for the summer of 2013; 75% of them will be done this week.  Even though I had almost ten weeks to be productive, this week will be the most intensive of them all.  Granted, I found out only two weeks ago that I would be switching from 9th grade to 11th grade English, but that urgency didn’t truly create a panic or accelerated pace in my attack of the things left until the last moment.

procrastinate

In the past 5  days I have accomplished the following:

  • Created the AP Language and Composition syllabus
  • Created the 11th Grade American Lit syllabus
  • Created the Creative Writing syllabus
  • Outlined the first three weeks of lesson plans for all three courses
  • Paced out the first semester for all three courses

Five items on a to-do list may not seem that impressive to some people, but educators know the depth to which each of those bullet points dive into time, paperwork, and sanity.

I am embarking on a new approach to student-led instruction/research with the implementation of Genius Hour. I am a first-year AP teacher, and my inventive/outside-of-the-box side will be supplemented through my Creative Writing classes.  I can honestly say that I am ready for this school year to begin despite all of the changes and the anxiety that comes with it.