It’s officially that time of the year when all of schools will be in session! This is an unusual year but don’t worry, you got this! Whether you are in-person, hybrid or remote, this guide to the start of the year should help you navigate the rough waters ahead.
Congratulations! You are lucky enough to get the opportunity to return to your classroom and spend full days with your students and colleagues again. Here are a few tips to help you prepare for success…
- Visit your elderly parents, grandparents, and loved ones who are suffering from terminal illness, and say goodbye. Your constant indoor exposure to hundreds and hundreds of people will make it extremely dangerous to visit them until at least a few weeks after the school year ends. Hopefully you’ll see them again, but who knows?
- Cry deeply. Now is a great time to reflect upon the fact that despite your selfless pursuit of nurturing young lives, your life has been deemed disposable. So give yourself a good cry. You deserve it!
- Stare into the Abyss and embrace despair. You’re ready! You spent the summer enduring intense psychological torture while your fate was decided, then undecided, and then decided again. Give up! Accept that you are nothing and that your fear of death and permanent organ damage are a sign of moral weakness. Don’t fight it! Stare deep into that abyss and abandon all hope, like a boss!
- Delude yourself into a false sense of safety. Do you like YouTube? I like YouTube. Do you have a friend who is an idiot or who has no capacity to care about other human beings? Text this mouth-breathing friend of yours and ask them to send you their favorite YouTube clips about COVID 19. Watch them and really pay close attention. Close your mind off to reality and just pretend like everything is just fine. This mindset will truly set you up for success.
- Don’t forget to sleep! Self-care and mindfulness are of utmost importance right now. It’s your fault that you have been abused and forced into mortal danger in the midst of a deadly pandemic, so you’d better find a way to be happy about it. Sleep is a vital part of this equation. You should get at least one to two hours of sleep before being jolted awake by the nightmares. Consider the nightmares to be like “brain breaks”, because your brain is literally breaking. Take care of yourself!
- Teach stuff. There will be moments between the unrelenting sadness, sheer panic, total despair and self-delusion, when you’ll have to, you know, teach stuff. Don’t forget to teach stuff. If hybrid, sometimes this stuff happens over Google Meet.
- Enjoy the temporary feeling of human dignity. We rarely take the time to experience genuine gratitude. Take this moment and recognize that you are living through a pandemic that is projected to have taken the lives of 400,000 Americans by the end of this year. Feel grateful that those who make decisions about your life and death, care whether you live or die. Be present and allow yourself to feel appreciated and loved.
- Count down the days until all of that is flushed down the toilet. It’s important to be organized and to plan ahead. Even if your safety and well-being are a priority right now, they soon won’t be. That is why I recommend referring often to the tips I provided for in-person/hybrid above. The regular panic attacks caused by reading over those tips will help get you in the mindset to be the best teacher you can be.
You are the real hero. What would we ever do without you? You are lazy and horrible. No bad things would ever happen if you would just do your job. Your fears, concerns, knowledge, experience and expertise are not valid. You just want to stay home and allow kids to suffer from the deadly pandemic that you caused. Get back in that building or else, you whiny little brat. We are all in this together. We are here to support you. This handy guide was made to set you up for the most successful year of your teaching career. You got this!