- You call the pizza delivery place and without telling the employee your name, he or she asks if you want your regular.
- Your refrigerator is full of take out containers.
- Your house looks like a combination of a school supply warehouse and bookstore with dirty dishes and laundry thrown in for good measure.
- You can’t remember the last t.v. show that comes on after 7 p.m. that you were able to finish.
- At home the answer to most questions is “no”.
- Did you wash my soccer uniform?
- Did you pick up my clothes at the cleaners?
- Did you remember to pick up my prescription?
- Have you called the repairman?
Being a teacher has advantages and disadvantages for teachers and their families. I love having the time in the summer to spend with my family, get those deep cleaning projects done, cook real meals, and do all those other things that I don’t always get to do during the school year. The drawback to this is when August rolls around; there is an adjustment period for my family. Not only are teacher-moms and dads busy with setting up their classrooms, sometimes children of teachers are roped into helping with the set-up, too. My daughter and sister-in-law who is also a teacher’s child like to compare notes about the pitfalls of being a teacher’s kid when we go visit my family.
- My schedule will change. It doesn’t matter if my administrator promised that it was set in stone, schedules do change. Do not begin making plans until the day before school begins. This is one of those times where the early bird does not catch the worm.
- Your class list can and probably will change. Do not make your class chart, list all your students alphabetically and assign them a number yet. Your class list is just a ***SUGGESTION*** (for lack of a better word) the first day of two. There is usually some shuffling around. Parents who must have their child with such and such teacher or their child can not be placed with another child often are moved around the first few days. You will be less stressed if you don’t make concrete plans until the second week of school – at the earliest.
- Absolutely, positively do not, repeat, do not make a million and one nametags because you will often get a new student the first day or two of school. Sometimes at the Meet the Teacher, you will find out that your students go by names that look nothing like what is on their permanent records. You might have a student named Theodore Xavier Smith who will inform you that he prefers to be called Bubba. When you ask his mother, she will confirm that this is what she wants him called at school. So, save yourself time, nametags, and headaches and wait for the dust to settle before you do too much work.
- Yes, I get it! You want to feel like your ducks are in a row. I think it must be in teacher’s DNA to have that trait. But, this trait can add stress the first week of school. I’ve tried different things such as giving students a sentence strip and have them write their name on the strip. Let the student choose where he or she wants to sit. Sometimes students know other students from soccer teams, the neighborhood, or being in other classes together. You have earned a gold star with the student and the parent by letting the child choose where he or she wants to sit. You have taken an informal assessment of their writing when they wrote their name (for K and 1st). You now know the correct spelling and what the child prefers to go by. You saved your self time you would have spent writing the nametags and taping them to the tables or desks. You will have fewer tears and anxiety problems the first few days of school because students know whom they are going to sit by.
- Have a bottle of Tylenol handy. Headaches are very common the first few weeks. For after school, I like to use one of those wraps filled with buckwheat seeds that you warm up in the microwave. There is something magical about putting that on your aching shoulders after school. It’s like a mini-massage. If you get migraines like I do, you may want to use this during the school day. Your students will learn to use this as a visual cue to speak softly when that is around your neck.
- Keep a change of shoes at school. I don’t know what the research or science is behind this, but, I like to change into a different pair of shoes at lunchtime. For whatever reason, it seems to rejuvenate my feet and give me a little boost of energy. Try it and see what you think!
- I also like to get new massaging insoles for my shoes. It is tough to be on our feet so much at the beginning of the year. Add this to your Back to School shopping list.
- Stock up on some snacks that you can eat while you work. If you don’t have nut allergy students, I recommend keeping a can of nuts in your desk for your breaks. Nuts are great because they fill you up and you can eat while you work. I’ve also found kits of small cans of chicken salad or tuna salad with crackers at Costco that are tasty, too.
One of the things I like about Voice Booster is it is small enough that it won’t get in your way when you are teaching. The microphone is on a headpiece that is small enough that you won’t have to worry about it giving you a bad hair day. If you have “senior moments” like me and often forget to charge your phone, you will love this – its battery last 2 days! You can play music through it while you talk, too. I’m sure there are many more things it can do. I’m still playing around with it. To me, the cost of it is worth it when I think about how stressful it is to lose or strain my voice. If you get one, I would love to know if your students respond like mine did to the visual and auditory cues of a microphone.
The drawback to the microphone system that I used before was the system was on a belt or necklace type of thing that hung from my neck. So I couldn’t wear necklaces that year. Plus it kept knocking off my name tag. It also created problems when I would bend over. Do you know how many times a day a teacher bends over during the school day?
I think the set up of the Voice Booster will work much better in the classroom. I took a picture of the Voice Booster headset so you could see how small the microphone headset is. It doesn’t weight much at all. The speaker can either clip to your waistband or there is a belt that comes with it that you can use.