As a Minnesotan who is well accustomed to harsh, long, and cold winters, I tend to hold on to the other seasons for as long as I possibly can. I love hikes in the beautiful, fall woods, having a bouquet of tulips on the table in the spring, and relaxing on a hot, summer day at the lake.
However, I can always count on Target to remind me that the seasons will soon change. Summer Clearance seemed to start right as summer in Minnesota had just begun. Yesterday was no exception.
I spent the morning checking email and reminding myself that school is just around the corner. It’s your third year as a teacher. Time to start that early prep that veteran teachers are famous for.
I headed to Target to get a planner to help me sort through the upcoming school year and tasks at hand and got lost in their bargain section. It was filled to the brim with gradebooks, lesson plan books, and cute items that will always make me wonder if I should have been an elementary education major.
I decided to carefully approach the seasonal display at the back of the store to see if I found more of the same. It didn’t take long to see the big Back to School signs, backpack options, and rows of classroom supplies. This filled me with a mix of excitement (I mean, who doesn’t love new school supplies?) and nerves. Will there be enough time to accomplish everything that I want to do with my students this year?
I suffer from a classic case of perfectionism. I want to be a perfect wife, teacher, friend, family member, person and in one day (let’s be real…in one lifetime) it isn’t possible to do it all.
But it is possible to do the best that we can do within the constraints of our schedule.
For a perfectionist like me, that means setting goals that I can actually meet and doing my best to protect my time. It means making time for my family, friends, church, and activities that breathe life into my soul. It means setting healthy boundaries on my time, so that the time that I spend with each person in my day is time that is spent to the fullest.
So here are my goals for this new school year.
- Schedule time for God and for family into the weekly schedule. Physically write it on the calendar and treat it like an appointment that cannot be cancelled.
- Have the semester planned before the school year begins. Use the gained time in fall semester to plan the spring semester before it begins. (As a first year teacher, this would have caused me to panic. Be where you are. It’s taken me time to be able to set that goal and it’s taken other teachers time to surpass it).
- Set specific tutoring and test make-up times before and after school and stick to them.
- Establish clearer classroom management procedures that are easy to follow and be consistent in maintaining them.
- Maintain connections with others in my field and build new connections to foster continued professional growth and encouragement.
What are your goals for the upcoming year? As you write them, make sure that they are realistic and that you have the time to complete them. If they are realistic, but you don’t have the time – what needs to be cleared from your schedule?
Have a great rest of your summer and a great school year!