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DR. LORI FRIESEN

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Find Your Tribe & Prepare Ahead for Crazy Back-to-School Busy

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Show Notes:

It’s summer, and that means that the beginning of a school year is right around the corner. If you are getting ready to start your first year as a teacher, there’s no way to sugarcoat it my friends…back to school time is crazy busy. I want you to buckle up because you’re going to be exhausted. I don’t say this to scare you. I say it because I care about you and want you to feel prepared!

The sentence I'm about to say just might qualify as the understatement of the century - I think we might have a tendency to underestimate how hard it is to be a teacher when we've never had our own classroom before. The truth is, we just don't realize how demanding this profession is until we're in it. 

It's pretty easy to romanticize how amazing it's going to be to have our own classroom, especially when you might be like me, who always dreamed of being a teacher. Now that we're finally getting to have, and decorate, our own classroom, it's so easy to get caught up in what to put on our Amazon wishlist and focus on what kind of decor we're going to use. This excitement can mask the huge responsibility that we’re walking into. We might minimize, or just not even be aware of, a lot of the important things we need to be doing in advance to help prepare us to be successful for the school year. 

If you're just graduating from college, you might be thinking that this will be nothing like the pressures of being a student teacher. Well, you would be right. This is going to be like student teaching on steroids. You're going to find it very hard to focus on other aspects of your life outside of school, because you're going to be working probably 60 or 70 hours a week for this period of time. (I know, they didn’t tell you that detail in college, did they?)

Yes, long, long days are in your future. But here’s the good news - just because the learning curve as a new teacher is so steep, it won’t always be that way! However, it will be that way in the beginning so let’s address it and prepare for it now.

There are many things you can do to make this transition into teaching a bit easier. Today we're going to talk about finding your tribe, and how to prepare ahead for that crazy back-to-school busy. I wish someone had talked to me about this before I started my first year of teaching. It would have been so nice to have a heads up in terms of what we should expect when the school year starts, which is why I’m sharing this information with you now.

It’s during this first month of school when new teachers enter the survival phase that you really need a tribe the most. You're going to be expected to solve problems at an extremely rapid pace, many of which you hadn't even anticipated. The reality of teaching on your own can really catch you off guard, especially when you don't have the support of a mentor teacher to ask questions of constantly, in real time, as problems come up inside your classroom. 

There is truly no busy like beginning of the school year busy. You're likely going to feel like you have absolutely no life outside of school for about the first six weeks. This is when you're going to need your tribe, your support system, the absolute most. Do not feel like you need to figure everything out on your own.

The key to this new stage in your life is to find other professionals who truly get what you’re going through, and can be there on those really tough days when you just want to shut your door and cry. Most of all, just remember - like anything new, it’s hardest in the beginning. This is your beginning. It will get much easier the longer you do it. 

If you’re looking for more support in preparing for the beginning of the school year, be sure to grab a seat in my FREE masterclass. When you join, you will also be invited to our private pop-up Facebook group where you can connect with hundreds of new teachers. Plus, there will be daily giveaways!

Inside this week's show, you'll learn:

  • How you can prepare people in your personal life about how busy you will be at the beginning of the school year
  • Ideas for fitting in exercise during this very busy season, so that your physical and mental health doesn’t decline
  • Why preparation over the summer is essential to making your school year more enjoyable and less overwhelming
  • The importance of finding your teacher tribe, full of people who get you and can support you

Links & resources mentioned inside this episode:

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.

πŸ’› Lori

Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor

Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.

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