Thursday, June 23, 2016

D-Day: Day 1 of School Reopening

It's nearly time for all of us to head back to school and face the students, oh no!! Some of you may have gone back to school for meetings already, some may be heading back tomorrow. Whichever group you belong to, rest well and sleep well on Sunday night! We all know how chaotic the first day of school can be so take it easy that day and don't fret too much about getting your students to finish their homework. There's plenty of time to fret from Day 2 onwards!

Does it ever get easier to readjust back after a long break? I think yes, it does. In my first few years of teaching, it was an absolute pain. Imagine sleeping late for a month and then having to wake up again at 6am. No wonder I dreaded the first day so much! Then after that I got savvier and I learnt a few things about readjustment. Try them!

Wake up earlier on the days just before school starts. 
So you've been waking up at noon or later during the June holidays. On this weekend, therefore, wake up at 7, or 6 if you can, on Saturday and Sunday. Don't hit the snooze button and just push yourself out of bed. Resist the temptation to fall back on your sheets after using the bathroom and just do something light in the morning. You could go out for breakfast at the coffeeshop, read the newspapers or watch some TV. The point is to get your body used to waking up early before Day 1.

Do light work on Day 1. Or no work at all.
You might have to collect homework and report books from your students and you will already have marking to do in the afternoon. If you are even more unlucky, your heads may call a meeting after school. Take it easy on yourself and spare the kids as well. You can go through classroom routines or class rules, or have the kids decorate the class by designing inspirational posters or their goals for the exams. This could make the transition easier on everyone all around.

Go. Home.
After school, there will always be things to do, homework to mark, assignments to finish. If you are still suffering from forcing yourself awake at 6 and you feel baggy-eyed, do yourself a favour and go home to have a good nap. A lot of us always think that we have to finish our marking every day and that it's an honourable thing to stay up late to do so. Would you encourage your students to do the same thing? Wouldn't you tell them not to do so because a healthy person needs 8 hours of sleep? So give yourself permission on Day 1 to have a good nap. You will need it to keep yourself going for the rest of the term.

But if you have the energy still...

Go out! 
Meet your friends or your family and treat yourself to a good dinner! Tell them all about what a disaster Day 1 was and have a good laugh in retrospect!

What are you planning for Day 1?