10 Tips on Reducing Stress at the Start of the School Year

We know the start of the school year is busy and can be stressful for all teachers gearing up for the new year. Our team has done research on a few tips to help you reduce the stress you may be experiencing. In addition, our C&I team came together to share their advice and ideas since they have been in your position before!

  1. Take advantage of different outdoor activities/ make time to be active.
    • “Take advantage of different outdoor activities that we have around here like canoeing, kayaking, free yoga in the park, hiking, etc.” -Annamarie Rinehart 
  1. Work smarter, not harder… DO NOT reinvent the wheel
    • “Find what works for you. It may take time, but be patient with yourself!” -Lisa Kuhn
  1. Utilize resources like the Eisenhower Matrix to help prioritize tasks
    • “Utilize a quadrant like the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize your to-do list! It will always grow so being able to prioritize is important!” -Emily Cowen
  1. Start facilitating a work-life balance and setting boundaries at the beginning of the year
    • “Start facilitating a work life balance at the beginning of the year because it is hard to get out of the rut once you are off balance.” -Lisa Kuhn
    • “Keep work at work as much as possible. If you can’t, set timers for yourself on how much you do at home and use the Eisenhower Matrix to decide what is worked on during that time.” -Emily Cowan
  1. Find someone to collaborate with/ talk with fellow teachers
    • “It is important to know that you are not alone. It could be a mental, emotional, or content collaboration- whatever you want it to be!” -Lisa Kuhn
    • “It always helped to talk to fellow teachers in my grade and similar content areas to establish team goals and growth points” -Mark Gumm
    • “Find the positive people around you and regularly check in with them. Tell them positive things going on and they will tell you even more things to be positive about.” -Michael Roush
  1. Learn something positive and new about each student in the first month
    • “Try to learn something about each student, it does not have to be something academic. Cultivating a better understanding of who your students are helps build positive relationships that reduce stress” -Michael Roush
  1. Don’t overplan
    • “Give yourself a “pass” if you can’t go as fast as you’d like through material. Especially early in the year, the students are still building up their “school year stamina,” too” -Michael Roush
  1. Make to-do lists
    • “There is always so much to do starting the year. It gets overwhelming pretty quickly. By writing down all of the “to-dos” circling around in my brain I was able to visualize and prioritize what I still needed to do. Plus, crossing them off when I was finished made me feel accomplished. I think it’s helpful to break down larger tasks into smaller ones” -Brooke Conklin
  1. Spend your free time effectively
    • “Work hard up until the weekend prior to the start of the school year. During that weekend do nothing and enjoy it by doing things you love the most!” -Mark Gumm

Last, but certainly not least:

  1. Don’t worry, we have seen this before
    • “Whether it reflects a more normal year or a year that is more similar to last year with quarantines and masks, we’ve seen it before. So we are equipped and prepared in some way or form. Maybe not 100% prepared, but we’ll be ready to tackle it with having an idea as to how it will go” -Justin Thomas

For more tips continuously throughout the school year, check out our monthly webinars!