Ah... the end of the first week back and I am... tired. Normally we have a partial week with a much needed weekend after days of prepping to be back. Not so this year as NC traditional schools that cannot start earlier than Aug 25th. I hit the ground rolling on Monday with a 5:20 wake up call. Luckily I've been up at 6 or 5:30 for the last 2 weeks getting back into the grind.
It has been a good week. Ben has consistently gotten up by 6:15 with his alarm and made the 6:40 bus each day. I'm sure part of this is the excitement of back to school, a new class, and being back with friends. We've done well with the dinner/bed rush. In part due to trying to keep some guidelines as we head back to school. Just like many of us make resolutions in January, I make a different set to help us back into the routine of school.
1. Get up on time to be on time to work. Be downstairs by 6 am to take care of the dog, finish up any last minute prep to help get kids out the door.
2. Leave work at a reasonable time. On time was a 5 pm alarm on my watch last year. This year it is 4:00. Unless I have a meeting, pack it up and get out. This week I managed to STILL make it out even with multiple after school meetings and traveling to another classroom last period of the day. Even with an extra classroom to prep each day, I made getting out a priority.
The thing about teaching is you are really never done. There is always grading, planning, parent contacts, logging parent contacts and following up, meetings upon meeting. This year I have a student teacher and am mentoring a 1st year teacher, serving on School Improvement Team, and oh yes, teaching just over a 100 students each semester. All classes are filled to brim as without caps on class sizes the result is my classroom resembles more of a refugee camp with students everywhere that my room will hold. Granted they are a well-dressed lot with electronics nicer than mine!
3. Get exercise back in to my schedule with 2-3 times at the Y, a weekend class, and walking the dog a mile daily. I have no excuse after 10 personal training sessions with a variety of intense 30 minute workouts to choose.
4. Have both boys picked up by 5:45 and dinner ready by 6:30. I've worked hard over the summer to restock my freezer. *Note the almost 50 meals ready to go including 4 Butternut Squash and Basil lasagnas. Yum.
5. Have the boys ready for bath and bedtime starting at 7:30 and lights out by 8:30. At 8 pm I turn into the Mommy Monster.
6. Go to bed myself by 10:30. My almost 40 self just can't do it much longer on less sleep. I hit this target once this week, but was in bed asleep by 11 all other nights.
7. Continue to choose reading once I finish up school work. I moved my Goodreads yearly challenge from 30-50 books by year end after finishing nearly 20 books this summer. Granted this week I've been reviewing my 26 IEP files and prepping classes, but next week I hope to be back to some nightly reading. I may be the only person on the Earth that didn't see Miley Cyrus strut her stuff this week on the VMAs. Guess what, I don't care being out of the loop.
8. Stay on top of errands and housework during the week so the weekend is not a giant to-do list. Use the 4-5 pm time effeciently with a daily punch list that is reasonable to finish in one hour.
9. Remember that working harder is not working smarter. Use shortcuts, lower standards for perfection, ask for help, refuse to just do it all alone because it is easier than a fight.
10. Focus on the good stuff. My boys and creating a stable, loving environment for our family. The sage advice that, "no one ever wishes they had worked harder and saw their family less on their deathbed" is true. Consider this for a tattoo.
Happy new school year.
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