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And I mean like a really rough day. Really, really rough day.
This is my first year teaching. And man, it has been a year. I don’t want to go into too much detail, because I intend for this to be uplifting, but I have been yelled at, cussed out, ignored, hit, and downright disrespected. I have some children that for the life of me NEVER sit down. I mean, spend the whole hour walking around my room touching my instruments. (Although I found out yesterday that they do it in everyone’s rooms, not just mine.)
We are not quite finished (still 22 days left), but we are getting down to the wire. Teachers are ready for summer (at least I am!). Students are ready for summer. And with that, comes some crazy.
And depending on your school, it might be a lot of crazy.
It might have already been pretty crazy, but now it is getting even worse.
Some days just drain all the energy out of you.
Then the next day, you are expected to go back to school.
How do you go to school the day after you were cussed out by a 10 year old? How do you approach that? How do you give your kids your best teaching self when you don’t feel like yourself?
I definitely do not claim to have all of the answers (and any input in the comments would be appreciated!), but here are some things that I (personally) have found help me out when it is the day (or the afternoon) after something really ridiculous happens.
Get Some Rest
This starts the night before (AKA the really really rough day). You need to destress. Whether that means taking a bath, reading a book, or just laying on the couch eating Taco Bell, do it. I know that this may be hard depending on if you have stuff to do or kids at home, but try your best. Put the kids in front of Moana and go use that hour and a half to take care of yourself.
I find that painting is a really great stress reliever. I paint a lot (so much so that I am about to open an Etsy shop), and it really helps keep my mind at ease. It is really great to take some time to just calm down and make something creative. (If you’re new to this, try abstract art. Anything goes!)
You can find more destressing activities in this post.
Take Some Time for You
This is more for the morning. In the morning, don’t just roll out of bed and throw some clothes on. Take a few minutes to enjoy yourself before going to school. That could mean reading your Bible, sitting on Pinterest, doing yoga, etc. It may just mean that you drink your coffee really slowly in the silence.
This will help get your mind right before you go to school. If you can take care of yourself, then you can take care of the children.
You can read more about morning routines in this post.
Pick Something Easy
Now, I know that most schools are sticklers for your lesson plans. But if it better to pick something easier on you than struggle all day. See if there is anything in your lesson plans that can be extended, shortened, or altered.
For example, I had a rough day a few weeks ago. It was a Wednesday. For the next two days, I was basically drained. My older students were learning a song and then getting on the keyboards. I shortened the song part (they still learned it, I just went a little faster) and put the extra time into their keyboard time (I always do half lesson and half playing for fun). I didn’t have to change my lesson plans, I just made it a little bit easier on myself.
If you feel like you just cannot do whatever your lesson plans say, then go ahead and reprint them just in case of an observation. And make sure what you replace it with is still going with the same standards.
You can read about backup plans in the music room here.
Always remember that if a kid totally freaks outs, it is a rough day for them too. And they are still reeling from it too. What is traumatic for us is traumatic for them.
If a kid is having a rough enough day that they are screaming or they are walking out of the classroom or banging on instruments or whatever, then they are going to be upset as well. And although you may not ever want to see them again, you have to. So, make sure there is a consequence and then let it go.
It’s hard. I know. But you have to let it go.
That doesn’t mean there’s no consequence. That doesn’t mean you don’t learn from it. But it means that you do not continually punish them for something that they have already paid the price for.
So those are my tips for going back to school after a really hard day. Have you ever had these feelings? How do you deal with them? Let us know in the comments. And don’t forget to subscribe!