September 2, 2012

Surviving the First Week

I survived the first week.

That's right...I made it a full five days with my students.  Whoo-hoo!

It was both the longest and shortest week all wrapped into one mega week.  Each day was absolutely exhausting and yet it was over before I knew it. Thank goodness for coffee!

Back to school is tough for teachers. We loose all our teaching stamina over the summer.  Your voice is not used to talking all day.  Your feet are not used to walking and standing all day. Your stomach is not used to being deprived of mid-morning snacks.  It is a complete 180 from the teacher summer lifestyle.  AND...that doesn't even account for having to wake up early and wear real clothes.  I mean... whew!

The good news is that I am truly blessed with my class this year.  I have a great group of kids. So many of them LOVE to read and learn new things. I haven't had a class this eager in several years and I'm just ecstatic! It made getting up at 5:00 a.m. so much more bearable. 

But, don't you wish we could build up our teaching stamina like the kids?  Wouldn't it be nice if someone told us we only had to teach for 3 minutes on day one?  Then, we could build up day by day and track our progress.  But, alas, that is not the way the world works.  Teachers have to be ready to go 150% on day one.  It's like going from pee-wees to the Olympics.

Luckily, I can usually fake my stamina throughout the day and hold off the inevitable CRASH until I get home. Anyone else fall asleep wearing their work clothes this week?  How about fall asleep with the light on and book in hand?  Anyone grab some crackers for dinner and head straight to bed?

Well....I did all those things. Plus, I have reacquainted myself with my snooze button.  Hit it once on Monday.  Twice on Tuesday.  Three times Wednesday.  Are you starting to see the pattern? Let's just say it continued all week.

So, what exactly do you need to survive as a teacher? I'm linking up with Corrina at Mrs. Allen's 5th Grade Files to share what I use to help me get through the first week of school and beyond.

Coffee, Coffee, and More Coffee - Drink some before you leave the house.  Grab another cup for the road.  Keep sipping all the way through the morning.  Microwave if needed.

Chocolate - I'm not picky here.  Anything will do...Snickers, Twix, Milky Way, even a Kit Kat.  I can't keep any in my own classroom because...well, let's be honest...the entire Costco size bag would be gone in a few days. However, my principal keeps a bowl of chocolate on the table in his office.  It's good to know it is there if/when I need it.

Cold Hard Cash - I always like to have a few dollars laying around so when the afternoon melt down hits, I can book it to the staff room and buy some more caffiene.

Tylenol - Be calm and pop some Tylenol.
Music - I have to have some tunes while I wrap things up for the day.  It relaxes me.

The Bag of Doom - Okay, this is really just the bag I use to haul everything to and from school each day, but my husband lovingly refers to it as my bag of doom.  But, without this bag of doom, I would be at school FOREVER.  So, I appreciate it.  If I take it home I feel like I can leave and although I may not always take that bag of doom out of the car, at least it came home and gave me permission to leave work a few minutes earlier.  It actually helps me with my sanity. As all teachers know, there is ALWAYS more to do and will still be there tomorrow.

Box of Wine - Don't judge on this one, but a glass of wine is the perfect way to end a long/rough day and I was wasting so much wine with the bottles, I switched to box.  I recently bought the wine cube from Target. Honestly, it's not bad.  Clearly, I keep this at home.

The number one thing that helps me survive is my amazing team.  They are the best!  I work with some of the best people on the planet.  Seriously! They always help me gain perspective, laugh at the most stressful moments, and recognize the difference we make everyday.  In a super stressful job where it is easy to feel deflated, my team helps keep up morale and makes everyday fun! 

Finally, weekends help me survive and THANK GOODNESS for this three day weekend.  I have been sleeping in, getting caught up on blogs, and spending some time with my husband and the two pups.

Life is good.


  1. I agree with you on the hurt feet, passing out, chocolate and Tylenol!

    I'm glad you had such a great first week!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

    1. Yup, that first week is a humdinger! I'm loving the 3-day weekend to recover. Tomorrow, it's back to building my stamina. ~Amanda

  2. Great post! I love your description of going from the peewees to the Olympics.

    The Idea Backpack

  3. I agree with every word of this post! So glad you are surviving...and that your room all came together:-)

    Chickadee Jubilee

  4. Yikes! You just made me realize what I will be going through in a couple of days. I think I was trying to lie to myself. I have only a day and a half left to get my room ready!! Better stock up on chocolate and caffeine!

    Good job getting through your first week :)


    1. It's true. Those first couple of days are rough. You've got the right idea though. Stock up on caffeine and chocolate and you'll be good to go. ~Amanda

  5. LOVED your post! I'm glad that you were able to survive the first week, hey down right?!? Enjoy the rest of this "extra" day so you'll be ready to kick b-u-t-t tomorrow at school.

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

    1. True week successfully completed. The scary thing is that it will be October before we know it. :) ~Amanda


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