Back to school - a teacher prepares
Getting my room ready is one big item with its own to-do list. More important than the room, however, is my motivation. Moving from summer to fall means adjusting from being able to budget and apply my time according to my own devices to living by a set of bells. It's a big change best made gradually.
One Step: start getting up on time. I've kept myself to a 7:00 wake-up time for much of the summer, but it's been easier and easier to sleep in past 8 lately. Consider that I wake up at 5:30 AM on a regular school day from September through June, and I have a lot of adjusting to do with my body clock.
Another Step: school supply shopping. My students represent all socio-economic levels. More than half qualify for free or reduced lunch, meaning they're either below, at, or close to the poverty line for their family size. Job losses and economic struggles hit these families harder than most. With that in mind, I used a small part of my class budget to stock up on crayons, color pencils, and more while the supplies are on sale.
Yet another step: make sure the family has enough clothing to skip weekend laundry if needed. Everyone has enough underwear and socks; as long as they have drawers in their drawers, they can wear their pants a second and third day if necessary.
One more step: review the new math curriculum. I picked up all my manuals and support materials. I signed up for a day-long training session later this week. That means I'll have to make myself wake up and be alert and concentrate all day: see Step One.
One last step to get through these final preparation weeks: Grind the coffee! Stumble It!