It’s that glorious time of year when teachers around the country desperately shift into “Survival Mode” to live out the short weeks between Thanksgiving Break and Christmas Break.
If that’s you right now… I feel you!
I, too, lived in that in-between space where you try to figure out if you can finish off a given unit in time for the holidays, given that tons of students are absent. Planning the test so that there’s enough time for re-takes and grading before the holiday… but not so soon that there’s dead time that will get you in trouble with your department head or principal.
(PSST… if you teach 9th grade English, I had a lot of success with “story diagramming” episodes of Spongebob Squarepants. ;-))
Anyway. Here’s a post for you to send to your family members to help them shop for you this Christmas (or for picking out some special somethings for yourself).
For staying happy in the classroom…
Fred Jone’s Tools for Teachers
Hands down the best discipline book you can find. It’s the only one I ever read that has actual practical tips that you can walk into the classroom with TOMORROW and feel more confident and in control. It also has long-term ideas for improving your classroom discipline, but when things are bad it’s more important to have immediate relief.
Dr. David Burn’s Feeling Good
Sadness strikes everyone at some time or another. This book will help you approach stress and emotional depression with mental tools so that you can pull it together for those important days (and get a sub for mental health days!)
Dr. Cloud and Townsend’s Boundaries
People who choose to teach are natural givers. So it’s no wonder they end up burnt out, tired, and emotionally destroyed. Sometimes they give too much! This book will help you figure out your values and learn how to say “No” to things that suck up your energy.
For super-classy interviewing…
Classy, thick pens
Leave your Bics at home. Get some nice, thick, black-ink pens so that you feel business-like when you jot down interview notes. Works great for phone interviews, too! These are my absolute favorite pens… I recommend the .7mm or the 1.0mm for thick, wet-looking writing.
A simple leather portfolio folder
Even if you don’t bring anything to the interview, successful people are always prepared to write something down. Bring paper, pens, copies of your resume, and busniess cards in a simple, classy portfolio to appear more polished than you feel. (Don’t feel polished? Keep reading interview advice).
A printer to print samples, samples, and more samples
Good interviewers show their stuff, with as many numbers and charts as possible. (Think: test scores, student club members, etc). And that means you’ll need a nice printer, paper, and ink so you aren’t running to FedEx all the time.
For relaxing at home…
These are going to make you look super-hilarious walking around your home, but they’re FANTASTIC for helping you calm down and de-stress after a long day at work. These glasses block the blue UV light from lightbulbs and electronic devices (think TV, laptop, iPad, smartphone) to let your brain slowly wind down at the end of the day. Magical.
Epsom salts (and/or essential oils)
You’re bathing for sure, so why not make it a 30-minute hot bath with a good magazine? Adding lavender (or coconut butter, or an oil of your choice) will also help make it a spa-like experience. Throw in some candles, too.
We’re basically just trying to recreate a spa atmosphere, so relaxing spa CDs are awesome, too. I also love this 3HR relaxing tones YouTube video and listen to it a few times a week when I’m really stressed.
Is there anything else on your Happy-Teacher, Job-Seeker wishlist?