Teachers: I know you may not want to hear this but your time is almost up.  Actually, in all fairness, most of my teacher friends enjoy their summer breaks but are also always excited for the new school year.  That's why they're teachers after all.  Because it takes a special person to juggle the needs and interests of a whole classroom of kids.   

But even teachers might need a little advice getting ready for the new school year.  To help, we turned to Mia Ozair, a licensed psychotherapist, former teacher, and mom of five.  Here are Ozair's tips for teachers to help super-charge the start of the school year.

  • Do something different in your classroom—change the seating, hang new artwork, move your desk, plan special time each week that the kids won’t be expecting.  Keeping things new and fresh helps motivate you and keeps your kids curious to see what you’ll come up with next.
  • Be honest about your skills.  We all have strengths and weaknesses, what are yours?  Even a veteran teacher must be on a constant path of self-reflection and personal growth in order to stay strong at the head of the classroom.  Seek out continuing education and wisdom from school leadership to help you be the best teacher you can be.
  • Patience is a virtue and more so for teachers than most others.  With so many demands from students, parents, and administrators, it can take some deep breathing and serious organizational skills to make sure the year starts off right.  Plan ahead for the school year by learning about your students in advance, preparing the first month or two of lessons, and understand clearly what the expectations of you are from those you work with and for.
  • Care for yourself!  Teaching is a demanding job on all levels.  Not only do you have to meet the needs of your diverse student body each day, but you also must navigate the parents that come along with them.  Be sure to take time for yourself to do the things you love.  Burnout is a high risk factor in teaching and the community at large needs you at your best.

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