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Your Well-being

Taming September chaos

New York Teacher

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The lazy days of summer are over and you may experience mixed emotions now that it’s time to set the alarm clock and get back on track for a new school year.

Here are some tips to help manage your feelings, focus on the present and ease back into work:

  • Take small steps: Allow for slowly settling into the school year. Think about your choices and time commitments. Create a goal sheet or priority list early on and begin to follow it before you return to teaching so you feel more organized.
  • Make the first steps fun: Whether you’re creating a new committee or project, writing a lesson plan or taking students on a first school trip, build in the fun and enjoy yourself! Do your favorite tasks first and do them in an environment you enjoy.
  • Find a friend: Starting anything new is a challenge. Get to know your colleagues better and start creating new relationships. Help new teachers and staffers and expand your social circle to include all school staffers, including school secretary, custodian and safety agent.
  • If you are new, join a new teacher group: If you have from one to three years of experience, check out groups offered by the UFT’s Member Assistance Program and the UFT Teacher Center. Starting this October, new teacher groups will cover a range of topics (some with PD credits) including classroom management, student engagement, licensing and more. See more information and register.
  • Create bonds that make teaching meaningful: You make a difference in the lives of your students. Be mindful about the importance of these bonds and connect with kids.
  • Create the mindset that will help you achieve: Attitude is a key factor in how we experience the world. Start and end your day with positive self-talk and visualizations. Make lists to help organize your work and ask for support in areas in which you feel less confident.
  • Self-care: To avoid burnout, make sure you get enough sleep and do things you enjoy, such as reading, having dinner with friends, exercising or exploring something new in the city.

See additional resources on easing into the new school year.

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