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Surviving the First Weeks of School

Are you as exhausted as I am after the first few days of school? There is nothing like “teacher-tired”!
So, let’s get going and see if these five tips will help you!
Mind you, these tips are not for your classroom- it’s for your sanity. Take care of you.
Seriously, by the time you reach the end of those first two weeks your classroom is already decorated, most lesson plan formats are established, you have begun your routines and discipline plan, so what’s left?
Tips and Tricks for Surviving Those First Weeks of School- just some easy tips for busy teachers to get the year started off well on a positive note! Includes a great easy recipe!
There are so many things going on in the few weeks of school and this goes way beyond just getting your classroom ready and preparing lessons. 
Teachers are off (for the most part) during the summer and it might be hard to get back into a routine.
So, let’s take a close look at just a few things that might help!
  • Planning
  • Recipes
  • The Small Stuff
  • Leave it at School!
  • Focus on You!
Are you ready?


Are you looking for a teacher binder or planner or calendar? If you are like me and only teach ONE subject your planner/binder/calendar needs are different! This product is designed for specialists that want a calendar specifically for a teacher of one subject!
I know you were thinking about lesson plans when you saw that title!
I actually mean all the other things. Teachers know how to write lesson plans, but what we need tips for are all the other things that need to be planned.
  • Do you gather all your clothes for the week and have them ready on Sunday afternoon? Press everything and hang it with the jewelry and shoes that match. I promise when you get up and get moving on Monday you will love having five outfits hanging there ready to go. And definitely by Thursday when your brain is fried, it will be so nice to have something you can throw on. If you have kids do the same thing with them.
  • And here’s another small tip about planning your clothing – Sometimes I even get six outfits ready in case I decide one of them is ugly later in the week. (It happens!)
  • Also, plan your week’s meals. Do you do this? Write it on a calendar sticking to the refrigerator. When you get home in the afternoon check the menu and start that food prep! It’s so nice not to open the fridge and stand there wondering what on earth we are having for supper!  
  • One last thing, do you schedule your errands? I try to list everything I need to do and then organize it by where I need to go so I can make all my stops in one swoop rather than every single day. Course this doesn’t take into account those emergency runs to Wal-Mart when we have no cat food…..


I know, I know. What is a recipe doing on a teaching blog? It’s an easy answer.
Cooking at home is so much more healthy for you than eating out! But, you need some great and easy go-to recipes that require a minimum of prep. I mean, it is just fantastic to walk in the door on Day 8 of the new school year and have a meal almost ready for you!
Here’s a recipe we love! I promise you will, too!
Teacher Tip for starting off the year: Ready to Eat easy meals!

Let Go of the Small Stuff

Okay, I am going to tell you a little story.

One day I was in my classroom talking to a group and I heard a little tune play. Then it played again. So, I asked if anyone else heard a phone ringing. One student pointed at another and that student started shaking his head. He was obviously uncomfortable, enough so that I knew he had a phone and it was ringing.
How would you handle this? Our school has a policy about not having phones turned on and the kids are supposed to leave them in their backpacks.
Here’s what I said, “Well, check to see if it is an emergency. And then please put it on vibrate.”
Guys, the relief on his face was so intense. He thought he was in BIG trouble and I just brushed it off.
Why not?
Everybody- EVERYBODY has a phone now- even students.
Why make a big deal of it? It just stresses me out and the poor kids.
Let it go. (I am not suggesting for one minute that we should ignore school rules, but in this particular case, it was truly an accident that his phone was on. There was no point in punishing him.)
How many other things could we just let go of and be so much calmer? 

Leave it at School

Blog Post with tips for surviving those first few weeks of school! These are tips about taking care of yourself- not tips about school!

Okay, be honest! Do you drag home a big bag of school work every afternoon?
Stop it.
  • Those papers will get graded eventually.  When it is time to go home, make sure all parent emails are caught up, get your board ready for the next day, get your purse and lunch box, and go home.
  • Play with your kids, relax, and spend some time on YOU! (and your family)
  • Don’t respond to emails. I have a friend that does not check her school email on the weekends. She had a parent a few months back that emailed her 14 times one weekend. The parent was upset and was sending repeat emails and inquiries. When my friend opened some of the emails on Monday she replied with this, “Mrs. XXXX I do not check my email on the weekend. Saturday is my day with my kids and Sunday is for church.” Awesome!

Focus on Taking Care of Yourself!

Focus on you! We don’t always do this because we are intent on our mission as teachers. We are dedicated, passionate, and in love with our jobs and kids. But we all need time to just work on our own little selves.
If you are a book lover and have enjoyed the wizard series with three fabulous friends, this poster set is perfect for you! The quotes featured are all from book characters or the actors that portrayed a character. These are inspirational quotes and they are displayed with gorgeous watercolor backgrounds and graphics reflecting the book series.
What do you do that is just for you?? For me it’s READING (no big surprise there!)
I read Everyday. All the time.
When I walk in the evenings for exercise I am listening to an audiobook. I listen to a book in my car while driving to and from school.
That’s my ME time. 
So there is it folks, ways to save your sanity and adjust to your back to school time of year! 
In the meantime here’s my Back to School board on Pinterest. Take a look for even more tips and tricks and resources!


  1. Susan K. says

    Hi Carol. I'm so impressed that you pick out all your outfits and plan all your meals for the whole week. Now that's efficiency! I am thinking of trying out your recipe – it sounds delicious – plus I always make the same meals – it will be fun to have something different for a change. Happy weekend!

  2. ES says

    Love it– I'm trying to be more organized and plan ahead. I sometimes do it and love how easy it makes the week. It's just hard to find that time though! I pinned your chicken recipe. Yummy!

    My Bright Blue House

  3. Kidpeople Classroom says

    You have some good things in place. My goal this year is to make my lunches of those jar salads on SUNDAY for the WEEK… we'll see… I have the jars now 🙂 Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom