Dr Jozelle Miller
August 15, 2017
Transitioning from summer break to the classroom

Going back to school is stressful for children of all ages; so, it is important that much is done to alleviate this stress and make the return as smooth as possible, for the children, parents and teachers.Teachers

To help you get ready to go back to school, here is a little advice on how to mentally prepare, so that you can maintain a healthy, happy work-life balance. The first thing that you will want to do to mentally prepare yourself for going back to school is to think about how you feel about it. When you think of going back to work, are you excited or are you dreading it? This type of exercise will bring out how you really feel about your job, and if this job is the right job for you. It’s completely normal to be sad that your summer is over, but if you are completely dreading going back to school, then you may start to reconsider if this job is the right one for you. Feeling negative about returning to work is not a good sign. If you’re just not sure how you feel about it, then try writing down your feelings. This is a good way to let your emotions out and to see how you really are feeling.

Use self–reflection

Think about what worked for you the previous school year, and what did not. If you found that you were spending a lot of time online looking up teaching strategies, versus spending time with your family, then you will want to consider changing the way you do things. By using self-reflection, you are gaining insight into what makes you happy and what doesn’t.

Listen to your body

This is a hard one for a lot of people. It’s difficult enough for people to sit still for a few minutes, let alone sit still and really be mindful of their bodies and what they need. Take a few minutes and sit and mentally think about what it is that your body needs. Is it hurting? Does it feel good? Are you in need of exercise? Take these moments to mentally address you physical needs. Do you think it’s time for a physical? Should you start taking a multivitamin? Address any concerns that you have before school starts, so that you will be mentally and physically well for the new school year.

Be mindful

You may have heard that being mindful will help you in your daily life. Well, you are right. Science has proven that practising mindfulness will increase your happiness. By focusing your attention in the present moment, you can: savour the pleasures of life as they happen, help relieve stress, improve your sleep, lower your blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, as well as improve your mental health for elements such as depression, anxiety, conflicts and more. Try a few mindfulness techniques to help you relax and prepare you for the new school term.

Mindfulness techniques

Try to focus your attention on one object, or count each breath as you inhale and exhale.

Take a walk on the beach or any tranquil area where you can centre yourself and meditate.

Listen to your favourite song while cleaning the house, or try a new balance pose on your yoga mat.

Think about your work-home balance

Being a teacher can take a lot of out you. It’s not just a 9-3 job where you can go home after work and not think about your job until you get there in the morning. Teachers have to plan, plan, and plan again. A lot of their social time is spent planning for the next day or week of school. It’s important for your mental and physical health that you find a way to divide your work and home life. Find time to relax after work, instead of searching for new activities to do with your students every night; dedicate one night a week to that activity. This will help with your overall well-being and happiness.

Next week, we will continue with more tips for teachers and some for parents