Friday, August 28, 2015

Five for Friday- Tips and Tricks!

Wow, how can we be so ready for Friday after only 12 days of school?
All the more reason to stop and think of some tips or tricks to get you through the day!

How about Five Tips and Tricks?
And linking up with Five for Friday with Doodlebugs!

So, let's get going and see if these tips will help you!
Mind you, these tips are not for your classroom- it's for your sanity. Take care of you.
Seriously, by the time you reach the end of those first two weeks your classroom is already decorated, most lesson plan formats are established, you have begun your routines and discipline plan, so what's left?
Tips and Tricks for Surviving Those First Weeks of School- just some easy tips for busy teachers to get the year started off well on a positive note! Includes a great easy recipe!

Teacher Tip for starting off the year well: Plan!
I know you were thinking about lesson plans when you saw that giant word : PLAN!
I mean all the other things..
Do you gather all your clothes for the week and have them ready on Sunday afternoon? Press everything and hang it with the jewelry and shoes that match. I promise when you get up and get moving on Monday you will love having five outfits hanging there ready to go. And definitely by Thursday when your brain is fried, it will be so nice to have something you can throw on. If you have kids do the same thing with them.
Sometimes I even get six outfits ready in case I decide one of them is ugly later in the week. (It happens!)
Also, plan your week's meals. Do you do this? Write it on a calendar sticking to the refrigerator. When you get home in the afternoon check the menu and start that food prep!
It's so nice not to open the fridge and stand there wondering what on earth we are having for supper! Since my son helps cook at my house it's also great that he checks the menu and starts some of the food prep. 
One last thing, do you schedule your errands? I try to list everything I need to do and then organize it by where I need to go so I can make all my stops in one swoop rather than every single day.
Course this doesn't take into account those emergency runs to Wal-Mart when we have no cat food.....

Teacher Tip for starting off the year: Ready to Eat easy meals!
Okay, here's a truth about us.We sometimes eat out, a lot.
It is just so easy to dash to a restaurant.
However, we can never agree and we spend too much time saying, "What do you want?" Ugh!
So, about six months ago I decided to NEVER eat out anymore (Well, except for one night a week). I plan the weekly menu, shop for that food, leave the menu posted, and whatever it says, that is what we fix. I know you are like me in needing simple prep for food!
Here's a fabulous recipe we tried this week and loved!

Easy recipe for busy teachers: Santa Fe Chicken

Teacher tip for starting off the year right: Let go of the Small Stuff!
Okay, I am going to tell you a little story.
Last week I was in my classroom talking to a group and I heard a little tune play. Then it played again. So, I asked if anyone else heard a phone ringing. One student pointed at another and that student started shaking his head. He was obviously uncomfortable, enough so that I knew he had a phone and it was ringing.

How would you handle this? Our school has a policy about not having phones turned on and the kids are supposed to leave them in their backpacks.
Here's what I said, "Well, check to see if it is an emergency. And then please put it on vibrate."
Guys, the relief on his face was so intense. He thought he was in BIG trouble and I just brushed it off.
Why not?
Everybody- EVERYBODY has a phone now- even students.
Why make a big deal of it? It just stresses me out and the poor kids.
Let it go. (I am not suggesting for one minute that we should ignore school rules, but in this particular case it was truly an accident that his phone was on. There was no point in punishing him.)
How many other things could we just let go of and be so much more calm? 
Well, except coffee. Can't let go of that.

Teacher Tip to start off the year: Leave it at school!
Okay, be honest! Do you drag home a big bag of school work every afternoon?
Stop it.
Those papers will get graded eventually.  When it is time to go home, make sure all parent emails are caught up, get your board ready for the next day, get your purse and lunch box, and go home.
Play with your kids, relax, and spend some time on YOU!
Don't respond to emails.
I have a friend that does not check her school email on the weekends. She had a parent a few months back that emailed her 14 times one weekend. The parent was upset and was sending repeat emails and inquiries. When my friend opened some of the emails on Monday she replied with this, "Mrs. XXXX I do not check my email on the weekend. Saturday is my day with my kids and Sunday is for church." Awesome!
A long time ago I did take things home every afternoon. Here's my bad mother moment. When my son was just learning to talk one phrase he learned was, "Mommy is busy!" He would say this when he saw me with  a grading pen in my hand. That is awful!
I wish I had spent more time with him and less time grading papers!

Teacher tip for starting off the year: Focus on yourself and do things that keep you in a positive frame of mind!
Focus on you! We don't do this because we are intent in our mission as teachers. We are dedicated, passionate, and in love with our jobs and kids. But we all need time to just work on our own little selves.
What do you do that is just for you??
For me it's READING (no big surprise there!)
I read Everyday. All the time.
When I walk in the evenings for exercise I am listening to an audio book. I listen to a book in my car while driving to and from school.
 That's my ME time. 

So there is it folks, ways to save your sanity and adjust to your back to school time of year!..Next week will be my five favorite books of the summer!
In the meantime here's my Back to School board on Pinterest. You should take a look and follow this was for even more tips and tricks!


  1. Hi Carol. I'm so impressed that you pick out all your outfits and plan all your meals for the whole week. Now that's efficiency! I am thinking of trying out your recipe - it sounds delicious - plus I always make the same meals - it will be fun to have something different for a change. Happy weekend!

  2. Love it-- I'm trying to be more organized and plan ahead. I sometimes do it and love how easy it makes the week. It's just hard to find that time though! I pinned your chicken recipe. Yummy!

    My Bright Blue House

  3. You have some good things in place. My goal this year is to make my lunches of those jar salads on SUNDAY for the WEEK... we'll see... I have the jars now :) Kathleen Kidpeople Classroom


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