Surviving the end of school breaks as a teacher

Sunday night.  The final night of the Easter holidays.  There are whines, tears and tantrums.  There are cries of No, 'I don't want to go back!'... None of these are done by the kids.

The end of the two week Easter break is a bittersweet experience in our household.  It is of course the end of trying to consistently entertain two small humans, who need to be daily released from the house, like two tiny incarcerated criminals, otherwise they go feral and turn on each other and us.  This Easter has been the absolute worse for getting outside.  Wet and miserable, there are only so many times that you can put on wellies and convince yourself that walks in the rain are 'fun' and there is no way that we are braving the craziness that are soft play centres on a wet, school holiday day.  So, the end of the holidays can feel almost like a relief - someone else now has to feed these children, someone else is in charge of keeping them entertained and alive for several hours a day.  Hooray.  Phew.

However, as I mentioned in a previous post both Lee and I are teachers.  So the return to school at the end of a holiday, is a return to school for all of us and anyone who has been off for longer than a couple of days knows how yuck returning to work can feel.

This is how I cope, manage it, survive with the return back to school;

1. Pack the bags the night before.

Kids school bags, PE bags, swimming bags, teaching bags, bags full of marking that may or may not left the bag over the holiday make sure that they are packed the night before.  I'm not the most organised of people but this saves my sanity the first day back.  I know my brain will be mush in the morning and it is guaranteed that something will be forgotten unless I think ahead.

2. Set multiple alarms.  Seriously, many of them.

You will have got into a routine of sleepily rolling out of bed when the kids force you to.  You may have also got into the habit of not getting dressed until midday (no judgement, I'm talking from experience here).  This habit needs to die on that first Monday back.  You need to get your butt out of bed, wash and dress yourself and make sure the kids do that too, you need to feed yourself and the kids, there are teeth to brush, multiple bags to grab, children to drop off and a school to drive to and if you're anything like me all this will need to be achieved before 7:15 in the morning.  Seriously, get your arse out of bed.

3. On arriving to work, remove all unmarked work out of the optimistically packed bag and organise yourself.

At the end of every term, I pack a huge bag with pupil work.  I tell myself that this holiday I will be organised, I will be motivated and I will get so much work done.  I am a fool.  I am deluded.  Sometimes that work will be removed from the bag and some of it will get done, often, it does not.  Therefore, the morning of day 1 is spent removing said work from the bag and separating it into piles of work and getting it all done whilst silently berating myself for, again, not getting it done over the holidays.

So. Many. Piles.  There is a system, I promise!


4. Consume a healthy nutritious meal during the day Chocolate, eat chocolate.  

The sugar will keep you going on day 1.  It might even make you feel happier about day 1 of the new term.  Eat other food, obviously, but honestly do the calories really count on the first day back to school?

Just a 'small' post work snack on the way to tutoring.

5. Watch trash TV, drink some gin and relax once the kids are in bed.

You may bring work home that first night, you may need to do work, I have been known to bring work home that first day back, however, we then have a point 3 situation.  It's exhausting the first day back.  Mentally and physically.  Emotionally too by the time you've dealt with the kiddiwinkles tired post day back meltdowns.  So, get those kids in bed, get those feet up, pour yourself a gin and watch some non brain taxing TV - I am currently loving the new series of Queer Eye on Netflix.  Then go to bed.  If like me you're prone to some unsettled pre return sleep then you're going to need that sleep, so go and get it, if your kids will let you!

D x

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