You’ve spent the summer with your kids, and now it’s time to put your teacher hat back on. Guilt may set in. Your life will be consumed by getting your classroom ready, planning lessons, grading papers, and meeting with colleagues and parents. Never fear! Here’s to surviving being a teacher and mom at back to school time!
I have been blessed to have worked at a school with my boys for a few years when they were in elementary and now I do hope to work at a school with my young daughter when the time is right for her to start school. This picture was my first year at the school with my boys on the 1st day of school.
Enlist the help of your kids.
As you prepare for the school year, have your kids help set up your classroom. Your children will love to organize your classroom, hang up posters, and help with your bulletin boards. Whether your theme is farmhouse in nature, smiling with emojis, or traveling around the world theme, your children will love making your classroom ready for back to school time!
Set a timer.
Chances are you’ll end up bringing some work home at the start of the year. Limit your time spent on school work when you’re with your family by setting a timer. When you force yourself to focus on one task at a time (without getting distracted by your phone, books, or snacks, for example), you’re more likely to get things finished quickly. For example, when you’re planning lessons, set a timer for 25 minutes. Only focus on the one task while the timer is set. This is called the Pomodoro technique. When it goes off, then go back to your family. You can pick up where you left off later, but more than likely, you’ll get a lot of work finished in the 25 minutes if you just focus on the one task.
Don’t grade everything.
Choose some assignments at the start of the year to grade or at least give feedback to get an understanding of where your students are at academically. However, avoid the pitfall of grading everything. This is important for your sense of balance and time management. Also, your students are learning new skills. Let them practice before you make the assignments a permanent part of their grade. Remember, the more homework you assign, the more grades and feedback you will need to give. Your students will appreciate having time at home to spend with their families as well.
When it comes to grading, let the computer grade work for you. Put quizzes and objective assignments on Google Forms. Not only will the program autograde, you’ll also get data on which items are missed most often as well as class averages. Students can also receive the answers digitally so they can make corrections or review for future tests or quizzes.
Surviving being a teacher and mom at back to school time isn’t impossible. Sharing your work world with your family is important, but you can also reserve family time at home with time management and technology tools. With a little bit of balance, your school year will go smoothly at home and work!
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