The one week each year that inspires both joy and anxiety, all in the same thought.
I love coming back every year, but…I DON’T love cleaning.
I don’t love meetings.
I don’t love minutia!
It seems that one of my favorite times of the year is always cluttered with these things, and this year, I was not letting it steal my joy! 🙂
I was going in…with a PLAN!
A plan for pre-plan?
Yes. Exactly that.
I’ve got to tell you, it really worked and I’m excited to share it with you on the off chance that you’ve not yet started…or that you can hold on to for the next school year.
1. Major on the majors.
My dear friend, Daina over at Sticky Notes and Glitter and I are doing a series of Facebook posts called #lemmejustsay. They are #realtalkteacher tidbits for the classroom teacher. This one from Daina really resonated with me. Sometimes, cute can be the enemy of practical. Because I’m a naturally creative person, I’ll spend hours working on one file to get the optics ‘just right’. I’ll work on one bulletin board for WAY too long just to make sure it looks nice for my blog. I’ll buy knick nacks for my room that are great in September and are the bain of my existance by January. This is the exact type of thing that stresses me. I KNOW that there are some teachers that it DESTRESSES to make your room pretty. If that’s you, this point isn’t for you. You go on and do you. For me though, cute is either too much work sometimes…or too expensive. 🙁 I have to start with the big things…and then if I have time and money at the end…I’ll see how much cute I can do!
2. Think about long range plans and procedures early.
This year, I worked on my long range plans over the summer so that I had an idea of where I was going. I refreshed my thinking on procedures, with my 127 Management Questions Freebie. Instead of coming back the week before pre-plan to do a bunch of decorative things, I spent the last week of my summer hanging out with my husband, meeting up with friends, and generally powering up for the year by RELAXING. When I walked in the door, because I’d refreshed my procedures, setting up the room arrangement was really easy. I had time to deep clean my room. Everything is so shiny! After the first day, I was really happy! And guess what…I didn’t spend a dime I didn’t have! 🙂 Don’t you love that story?
2. Cut back on the chit chat.
I’m super social. I love people, but in a week where there are so many things that are a drain on my time, I’ve got to prioritize. Leaving most social conversations for team lunches seems to work best to make sure that I have time between meetings and training to get stuff done that de-stresses me. I make lists of things that I think I might need outside of my room…for example, if I want to ask the grade chair about something, or ask my administrator for time off to do a training…things like this. Tracking people down takes time. 🙁 Once I’m done with what I have to do…it’s easier to go down my list of things that I do outside of the classroom. It also keeps me accountable.
3. Got a big job? Recruit help!
This year, I have to clean out my crazy closet. At the end of last year, I just dumped everything in there to keep it off the floor. It’s a disaster. I even took a picture to share it with you…but it’s so bad…shame prohibited me from exposing it! LOL! I HATE cleaning. Most years, my mom comes up and helps me with the cute touches and light cleaning. This year, Mom can’t make it. So…enter…#thehubs.
He came in on his day off and got my computers all set up! He was also my accountability.
4. Set boundaries
Make sure your self talk is right! 🙂 It is really okay to go home when the day is done. I used to work at school until 5:30 or 6 and then still come home and work on stuff that I would put on TPT. I put an end to that last year, and I can honestly say…I am SO. MUCH. HAPPIER. I leave school right around 3:45. I try to grade my papers during lunch or during bus dismissal. I streamlined the amount of paper I require too, to help me major on the majors with my kids. Paperwork that I’m not going to really look at closely and give meaningful feedback to is not necessary. I cut it out. I can come home, have a nice dinner with the hubs, and then work on curriculum that I’m writing for TPT for a bit before I hit the sheets.Hope your pre-plan week goes smoothly!