New Start, Fresh Start, Great Start!

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-by Jaime Willis

For many teachers and students, this is their final weekend of “freedom” before school starts in earnest on Monday. Whether you are looking forward to the fresh start of a new year of dreading getting back into the “grind” of school, you can help yourself have a great start by doing a little bit of preparation.

Have a Plan

Whenever you are going to start a new task, you’ll feel better or more confident if you have a plan. If you are starting the new school year, lesson planning in advance is a huge help!

Have a Routine

When you are anticipating a fresh start, do so with a routine already in mind. What time are you going to go to bed to ensure a good night’s rest? What will your morning look like? How about your commute? Plan your routine out before the “start” day, and you’ll feel more prepared and confident.

Anticipate Challenges

Think about everything that could go wrong on your first day. Then, as much as practicable, plan a “solution” to the problem in advance. Worried you might forget your camera? Put it in your trunk the night before. Concerned that traffic might be a problem? Plan to leave your house earlier than usual. Scared the students will be really difficult to manage? Plan out a system to manage behavior ahead of time.

Visualize your Success

The night before your fresh start, take a few moments in the quiet of the evening to visualize your way through the day. Start by “waking up” refreshed, going through your morning routine, getting into school, and walk through every part of your school day. If you imagine what a successful day looks like, your brain will help you match your real day to your imagined success.

Smile & Have Fun

When you are nervous or worried, all of your energy is focused on the negative, which has a negative impact on your ability to interact with the world. I recently took a flight where I was seated across the aisle from a couple and their 9 month old baby. The mother was very stressed about keeping the baby quiet, and as a result, literally every time she held her child, the baby started crying. The father was much calmer and soothed his child right back into a peaceful sleep.

When you are scared, nervous, or worried, this is a great time to smile, to encourage others, to laugh and have fun – do things that calm or uplift your mood!

I hope this tips will help you have a wonderful “new start” soon!

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