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Teachers - Beat the Back to School Blues!

After an amazing summer of blue skies and lazy days, you're back down to earth with a bump. It's back to school time. Are you feeling down, stressed and overwhelmed already? Read on to discover some tips for avoiding teacher burn out and beat those back to school blues.

stressed out teacher at back to school time

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

  • Try to find time to exercise when you go back to school - even ten minutes a day is better than nothing. Dance around your bedroom, take a walk or buy some weights. It will make a difference to your energy levels and lift your mood.

  • Did you know that Joe Wicks has a back to school offer just for you? He's offering UK teachers free access to his Body Coach app for three months!

  • Another free and useful app is My Fitness Pal, where you can set yourself goals and track your diet and exercise.

workout equipment for teachers

Be Prepared

  • Batch cook so that you don't have to think about your meals every single evening. Plan a menu and have your easy-prep meals on your worst school days. BBC Food has a great selection of budget dinners.

  • Get your outfit, lunch and bag ready the night before so that you've got plenty of time for breakfast.

  • Fill up your car in plenty of time - you will NOT have time on your way to school.

  • Stock up on dry shampoo!

  • Make lists: highlight your priorities and stick to doing them first.

  • Have a tray for your teaching assistant which contains a copy of your plans, resources they will need and sticky notes for them to jot down any assessments or observations.

healthy meal for teachers

Train Your Class

  • Even Reception and Year One children can be trained! Ensure that you spend at least the first two weeks of the new school year establishing rules and routines with your class. It will make your life much easier for the remainder of the year!

  • Take photos of 'what tidy looks like' for each area of your provision. Don't put too many resources out to begin with. When children can consistently tidy an area properly, you can add more resources.

  • Train your class to sweep up any mess and to clean paint pots.

  • Have a very clear set of rules, rewards and consequences and stick to them.

  • Label everything with words and pictures, so that children know where things go.

  • Have a 'lost items' box for your class to put spare glue stick lids, puzzle pieces, etc.

  • Use music for tidy up time, line up time, etc. When the song ends, the classroom has to be tidy/everyone has to be lined up quietly!

  • Challenge children to look for the mystery mess! When the classroom is spotless, reveal which child has found the mystery mess and reward them!

messy paint tray in classroom

Don't Reinvent the Wheel

Why spend hours creating activities, searching for resources and looking for information, when you can find it all here!

teacher subscription for maths and literacy downloadable activities

What Else?

  • Try to stick to a time when you will have left school by each day.

  • Have at least one day a week where you don't do any school work.

  • Don't work past a certain time each evening; allow yourself time to relax and switch off before going to bed.

  • Plan things to look forward to each weekend and half-term break!

  • Consider brightening up your classroom. Adding some pops of colour can have a positive impact on mood! Read Setting Up Your Classroom: Time to Step Away From Beige to find out more.

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