Top 10 Tips For Your Best Year Ever!

Each new school year brings with it a flood of emotions as teachers. We're excited. We're nervous. We're bummed (Summer, don't ditch us!!). We're exhausted. We're optimistic. Flying into our 15th year teaching first grade together, we've learned a few things about making the best of each new school year. Just like the catchphrases, "Happy Wife, Happy Life." and "If Mama's not Happy, Nobody's Happy." pop into our minds, so does "Keep your Dear Teacher Happy.". But that my friends, will not be found in a textbook or scratched on the school bathroom stalls. That happiness, that mindset starts within yourself...
Here's a few ways to have your best school year ever!
Find the good...Sure there's a lot that can, will and is going wrong sometimes, but look at the bright side. Keep that glass half full...And don't spill it...You're going to want to drink whatever's in it when you get home tonight! Avoid the staff room gossip. If the conversation makes you feel gross, change it...Get up and look busy, excuse yourself, whatever it takes. Keep a smile on your face when you walk around school. Stay upbeat and professional. Say hello to people! Keep yourself positive and those around you just may fall in line!
You hit the school doors running most days. Things can't get done fast enough. You forgo recess, lunch is a half eaten banana leftover from this morning at best and you are running Fred Flintstone style all around school. STOP...Breathe...Take a break. Running yourself into the ground is not worth it. You can run and run, but everything will never get done. Allow yourself to stop and take a break when you need it. Take care of you! 
Getting into a groove each new school year can be a challenge, but once you find it things can fall right into place! Keep yourself organized. Know your organization strengths and weaknesses. Are you a folder holder? Do you work best off of a stack? There's no one right or wrong way to be organized as long as you know where to find things when the bell rings!
This is a tough one. We teachers want to save the world. Yes! We can volunteer to attend math night. Yes! We can make those posters for you in our nonexistent spare time. Yes! We can take on extra bus duty. Yes! Yes! Yes! No problem...But Houston, we may have a problem. Are you taking on too much beyond teaching? Are you forgetting to keep yourself happy? Are you grumbling and complaining and dragging your feet because suddenly your full plate has turned into an overflowing Hometown Buffet platter and you really just want a doll sized tea cup saucer for once in your life already!? Then, it's time to say no. Here are a few options to try: 
No, thank you. 
I'm so sorry, but I just can't take that on right now. 
Thanks for thinking of me, but I honestly can't.
Try it...It's ok...We promise!
We realize making adorable bulletin boards, wiping counters and rearranging desks suddenly skyrocket to the top of our to do lists, especially during report card season for some odd reason. But, no matter how many bulletin boards we staple, how clean our counters are or how Pinterest worthy our new desk arrangement may be, report cards are not done. And now, we're stressed out! Do the things you don't want to do first. Prioritize your laundry list of to do's and get them done before doing the "fun" stuff!
The school day is over. You've stayed well beyond your work day voluntarily. You have friends, a family, perhaps a pet waiting for you at home. Go there! Be with your people...Leave work at work. It will be there tomorrow.
We try to work at least 2 weeks out at all times. Prep for an entire unit, not just a week or a day. This has freed up a ton of our time. Looking ahead helps us make a plan and stick to it.
Be a positive, professional presence for the families in your class. Make the tough phone calls that could easier be said in an email. Make the connections to the people in your class. Truly get to know their child and work to connect in any way, big or small, with them and their family. Spend time understanding what makes their child tick and stay connected. If there's a problem, speak up. If there's not a problem, still speak up! Families need to feel you care. Stand outside of your classroom. Open your door. Show that you care and want to connect.
Your classroom is your castle! It's your house and you are in charge. Be in charge. Have confidence in who you are as a teacher and how you run your classroom. No matter if this is year 1 or year 101 for you, be the king or queen of your domain!
One day we were chatting with a colleague about the daily struggles we were facing with our class and she simply said, "Lean in." Those two little words sort of took us off guard, but have resonated in us since that day. Teaching can be an extremely isolating profession, but it doesn't have to be. Find like minded people at your school that you can lean on. Whether it be for professional support, a shoulder to cry on, or a fun Friday friend, lean in. Support each other and have the best year ever!
 Are you ready for the BEST year ever? 
We are too, and so is Teachers Pay Teachers! They're celebrating with another huge sitewide sale for Back to School. 

Save up to 28% off our entire shop August 1st and 2nd (That's Monday and Tuesday for those of us who still aren't tracking summer days), when you use Promo Code BestYear at checkout!

Most of our store has gotten a total face lift...New Year, New Gear!

We're kind of giddy about the new look...

Fluttering Through First Grade

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