As a parent and educator this time of year is a transition back into a regimented routine. It is the New Year. New Year, for my child entering grade 3. New Year, for myself with a traveling (on a cart) assignment, Grade 5-8 Math and Self Contained Class coverage.
Preparation for this New Year celebration spans through the summer. Beginning in June by sorting and putting away this past year’s materials. I’m always thinking about what the New Year will hold. When I’m shopping and something catches my eye, I think, “Is it useful to me and my charges? Can I afford it? Will I use it?” As I unpack my storage areaZ, I find all kinds of collectables there. I started teaching at the beginning of the technological age of the education system. I still have materials necessary before the use of technology. This year, I found a grade 3, “Word Wall”. My child’s Grade 3 teacher, inherited this and a box of books for this level. whether she uses them or not, I feel great about the possibility. Sharing with others brings me joy.
New Year is a great celebration, ringing in the new, decorating for the season, preparing for a fantastic time, thinking of all the details, and knowing that an unpredictable event will happen and I will have to adapt and be flexible to smoothly slide through it. As Educators we have a multitude of talents. We are planners, organizers, predictors, caregivers, decorators, researchers to name a few. With all celebrations we plan and prepare well before the event. It is exciting to watch, assist and create space for the New Year. It is exciting to meet the new educators, children, and families whom will help with the growing and learning for all.
During the summer, usually a few weeks before the New Year, nightmares enter my dreams which include, “I’m lost in the school. I’m late getting there. I forget the most important item of my plan.” My mother has been retired from teaching for over 20 years and still has these dreams/nightmares just before the New Year. I wake up in the night thinking about plans and details. I jot notes in preparation for the celebration back, then convince my brain to slow down and return to a resting place.
The preparations as an Educator include more than the New Year celebration. These include preparing yourself and others for a change in routine. My child has appointments through the week. I have to plan my life around these and my own appointments too. I have to prepare for travel to and from, meals to eat, clothes for the changing season and the New Year. I have learned to slowly slide into these practices beginning before the New Year. This gives my body a chance to adapt to the earlier start times, bed times and daily expectations. I began teaching later in life and my body and mind thank me, when I care for them. Preparing for the New Year must include self care. I have made realistic goals to care for myself, so I can continue to celebrate the New Year with the many people I affect.
As you prepare for your New Year events, be mindful of yourself and flexible in all the change that will happen during these times. Smile, walk proud and be kind is my continuous reminder every moment of this New Year celebration.