If I were still down south, I’d be enjoying July, thinking ahead to the professional development classes that I’d be teaching to my colleagues, starting August 11, with two weeks of classroom work days until school starts August 24.
At my new school, the first day of school is August 11. Registration for students is Tuesday-Thursday of this week, and staff in-service is three days next week. I’m feeling a little crunched right now! We’re hoping to cram a quick trip to Wisconsin for a family reunion this coming weekend, so…
How to cope and get everything done?
Trello is a wonderful website and app that lets me make as many lists and post-it notes and check lists in as many colors as I want and add links and pictures and move cards around. To avoid feeling overwhelmed with how unprepared I feel for this school year, I lay out my game plan for the next few weeks. And instantly feel more in control, even if I haven’t accomplished anything on my new lists.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Hubster told me I need to try the “Eisenhower matrix” that he learned in college. In his explanation, I create a grid and label each column and row urgent, not urgent, important, and not important, and divvy my tasks up based on where they fit in the matrix.
Here’s an example:
– I need to unpack the rest of my classroom books. Is this urgent? No. School can still start with a few boxes of books in my room.
– I need to go to the BMV to title my car in Indiana. Is this urgent? Kind of; if it’s not done within 60 days of moving I pay a late fee, and my Texas registration expires at the end of the month.
– I need a haircut. Is this urgent? Let’s see…the last time I got a haircut I was both not pregnant and did not yet birth a child, so it probably can wait a little longer. I just yank everything up in a severe teacher bun anyway. Is it important? I suppose to the lady with cancer who gets the wig made from my donated locks it is, but to me…probably only important so far as my free time to schedule a haircut gets curtailed after school starts.
– I need to print information for parents for registration on how to order yearbooks and senior ads. Is it urgent? Registration starts Tuesday. Is it important? They can still order yearbooks and ads if I’m not ready by Tuesday, but it would be much easier to reach them when they’re ready and looking for information.
So I need to focus my energies on getting my information ready for registration; the BMV is probably next, since it’s a gross government bureaucracy and I need lots of time to wait in line on a weekday. The haircut and unpacking books can go in quadrant 4, which Hubster explains means I can throw them out and pretend I don’t have to do them ever….or at least not worry about when trying to sleep tonight.
Most of our stuff is still in storage, including miscellaneous unmarked boxes that contain, among other things, my teacher cardigans. One of my mentor teachers in college insisted that the teacher should always be dressed at least one step above her students; my new school has uniforms, so I feel my wardrobe, especially minus my teacher cardigans, is grossly lacking.
I’m inspired by both the capsule wardrobe and leaders who wear a “uniform” to work every day. I’d like to feel put together at work but not have to worry about choosing what to wear every day. Sometime between now and school I’d like to find a few nice black or solid tops and a few nice skirts or pants that fit really well and never shop again the rest of the year. A friend hosted a Premier jewelry party this afternoon and I bought my first new necklace in…well, since I can remember. Nearly all my jewelry was either inherited or gifted.
Confession: I hate shopping. I’m the nerd in the family; I don’t like spending money on myself. At least, not on clothes. Most of my non-grocery money is spent on Amazon so I don’t have to drag myself to the store. But I know that if I have a few go-to teacher outfits that make me feel put together, I will…feel more put together. And that is really important to me when starting the school year.
Put Everything Away
This last week was the last full week off I had with my family, especially now that Hubster is finally back in town. We did some fun stuff – for example, buy a house – more on that later. And I spent a fair amount of time Monday freaking out about school stuff before I got the courage to put it away and enjoy the week. School stuff will still be here this week to work on, so I could enjoy stroller walks and lunches out and things I can’t do as often once school starts and the weather gets colder. And it was awesome.