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3 Hacks To Stop Holiday Teacher Stress

In Episode 25, of Rockin’ This Teacher Thing…

Here it comes teacher friends. Holiday celebrations, cultural traditions and stress.  Now more than ever we want the next few months to be memorable, special and full of joy.  Don’t be stressed instead get the 3 hacks you can use in your life to get organized quickly, plan efficiently and find some joy in the journey.  You’re going to get some free printables to help so make sure you stay with me so you don’t miss those. Are you ready to face stress and beat it…. Me too. Here we go.  

Teacher Resource Recommendations From This Episode

Grab your Holiday Stress-Buster Printables

This set includes:

  • December printable calendar
  • Project Materials Lists
  • Teacher To-Do Lists

Top 3 Tips From Today's Episode -Time Stamped

What are the 3 holiday stress buster hacks?

  1. Make 3 lists
    1. December Calendar (6:41)
    2. Projects/materials (9:45)
    3. Teacher To-Do (11:27)
  2. Leave School at School (13:09)
    1. How To Write Thank You Cards before you get the gift
    2. Plan and prep for the 3 days (and only 3 days) after the break
  3. Have Something To Look Forward To (17:47)

Listen Here

Follow Our Host: Angie Kantorowicz​

Welcome To Rockin' This Teacher Thing Episode 25- Stop Holiday Teacher Stress (Transcript Of Sorts)

Hey teacher friends this is Angie and the Rockin’ This Teacher Thing Podcast Show. The podcast for early primary teachers that rock their classrooms everyday.

Here it comes teacher friends. Holiday celebrations, cultural traditions and stress.  Now more than ever we want the next few months to be memorable, special and full of joy.  Don’t be stressed instead get the 3 hacks you can use in your life to get organized quickly, plan efficiently and find some joy in the journey.  You’re going to get some free printables to help so make sure you stay with me so you don’t miss those. Are you ready to face stress and beat it…. Me too. Here we go. 

Feeling Overwhelmed Too?

Hello teacher friends I don’t know about you but the last few weeks have been just a little stressful. And that’s one of the reasons I’m getting back to getting that stress under control in my own life with some tried and true hacks that I’m going to share with you today. For me it's the feeling of overwhelm. It's like a heavy load. I can’t do it all but I have to do it all and it needs to be amazing and oh yah, no one has clean underwear because I didn’t do that load yet.

And then I start saying no to myself and then I get bitter and then…. Well if you can relate. Give me a thumbs up… oh I see you.

Rockin' This Teacher Thing Community Is Growing

Speaking of seeing you.  Did you know that you now have something in common with teachers from 6 continents? Yep, last week a teacher friend from Africa joined your group here on Rockin’ This Teacher Thing podcast.  That means we have teacher friends from all over the world including, Japan, India, Russia, Ireland, Brazil, Malaysia, Australia, United Kingdom. So I want to keep that in mind with today’s episode. 

In many places we are getting ready for Christmas but for many of you you don’t celebrate Christmas. But I want you to know that these stress busters I’ve used at different times not just the holidays.  So take these ideas and use them to help your own culture and holiday. 

Okay? And thanks so much for being here with all of us.  You are in very good company.  Best people listen to this podcast.

What Are The 3 Hacks- Summary

Okay let me give you a quick summary of the stress busters we are going to talk about today.

The first hack is a list system that I developed and used because I had a really hard time remembering everything that I was responsible for or what was happening in the month of December.  Nothing worse than needing 6 bags of cotton balls and not having them… No, there is something worse. Needing 6 bags of cotton balls because your grade level teammates were counting on you and you let them down.  

So I have a 3 list system that is going to get you totally organized.

Second hack if you will is a few to-do’s you can do so that you can leave for a holiday break totally free of school responsibilities. For me this was a game changer because I was the teacher who literally took school work 1100 miles across the country one year because I was going to do it on the trip and teacher friend it didn’t get done. But it was a monkey on my back and it stole some of my joy. So no monkeys no joy stealing There’s a solution.

And the last hack is one I use in my life daily and that is the use of having something to look forward to.  I’m going to tell you a personal story from my childhood that set me up to use this hack. I think it will work for you to relieve your stress. 

Hack One List- Printed December Calendar

The 3 Lists are 1 a calendar to make everything you need to do visual. It needs to be a paper calendar. Why? Because if you are in person learning you are going to print it… (yes it is in your download printable pack) And your students are going to help you remember events.  Sit down with it and fill it out with your class.  Tell them what’s going on in the next few weeks. Talk about how to use a calendar to plan and organize events.  This is so good for them.  I guarantee that some of them will want a calendar of their own to organize their own life.  I used to post it where everyone could see it and make it part of the morning routine.  Tell them what you are doing today and what will be happening tomorrow. It helps with their anxiety too.  Some kids really need to know what’s happening.  The printable is two pages so print it and tape it down the middle. I made it like that because I found the squares were too small if it was just on one page.

Hack One List- Project List

To use this list, look at your calendar.  What special projects are coming up?  Like in my case it was like a countdown to Christmas project, gingerbread house making. Etc. Then I would take the Project List place the title of the project on top and write down the materials needed.  Then I would take a picture of each list and go shopping first at the dollar store.  Also, it seems like sometimes a parent wants to help but they don’t know how.  Give them a list. Tell them when you need all the supplies. Let them buy and deliver the goods.  Then put each project in a bag or bin and bam. You don’t have to worry about doing a Target run at 8:00 at night or worse calling your husband to stop everything he’s doing to bring cotton balls to school.  By the way, he’ll buy the really big ones and then you’ll just have to tear them apart so you have enough for the project.

Hack One List- Teacher To-Do List

This is a brain dump list of everything you feel like you need to get done before you walk out the door for your holiday.  This is a biggy so don’t skip it.  Sometimes we feel super overwhelmed because our list just keeps getting longer. But, I want to give you some hope. When you write it down it starts to feel a bit less daunting. Then when you start to hack away at it and you can see that you are making progress.  So stop fatiguing your brain by keeping all your to-dos in your head.  It’s exhausting. Brain dump.  I would write down even the smallest things like sharpen all the pencils. Or change the calendar to January, or get rid of the old paint trays.  Just what comes to mind, put it down and add to it whenever.  

Hack Two- Write Thank You Cards Letters Before Getting The Gift

That leads to Hack 2 and it’s a few things that you’ll want to put on your to-do list that I bet you haven’t thought of.

First is to write your thank-you cards for any gifts you’ve received before hand with envelopes already filled out.  Now some of you won’t be getting gifts because the holiday you are getting ready for doesn’t involve gifts but whenever you are expecting gifts here’s what you do. 

Type out a general thank you template on your computer.  Mine always read something like: 

“Dear ______, 

Thank you so much for thinking of me. The _________ is so special and thoughtful.  I hope you have a wonderful winter break. Make sure to read everyday.  When we see each other again I want to hear all about how you spent your time.  Again thanks for the special gift. Your smile is the gift you give me everyday. 

 See you soon.

Love, Mrs. K.

Then when you get a gift type in the child’s name and gift and you are ready to roll. Have an envelope already addressed and some stamps. Drop it in the mail on your way home on the last day of school. They love getting real mail. And you aren’t going to spend hours writing them out.  

Hack Two- Plan and Prep For The First 3 Days (And Only The 3 Days)

Also you need to plan and prep for the first 3 days after break. This seems pretty silly to even say but, I’ve spent days and hours and hours prepping for the start of school. But, just prep for the first 3 days because I’m telling you … things are going to be different when you get back.  Some kids are going to need more intensive catch up time and others will come back with improved skills.  You aren’t going to know until they show up at your door. 

Last Hack- Looking Forward To Something Helps With Stress

Have something to look forward to.  One of the best things about going on a trip is looking forward to it.  I love thinking about what it will be like.  I need something to look forward to. When life gets crazy I tell myself- This is hard but at least I have_____ that’s coming up.

If It Worked For A 4th Grader It Will Work For You

I think it comes from a time in my life when I really hated school.  When I was in the 4th grade I was pretty much a non reader.  The story is really long but I was that student that you have right now that you look at and think “yikes” what the heck?

Anyway, everyday I would wake up and I would need to think of something that I could look forward to during my day.  Usually it was chocolate milk for lunch. Sometimes it was we would have P.E. or there would be a movie.

Good Bye

That’s it for now teacher friend I will see you in 2 weeks with some more Rockin’ This Teacher Thing. You’re my hero. God Bless. Bye, bye.

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Angie K

Angie K

I love to help teachers create an amazing teacher life.
I've taught for 25+ years and I want to help you find joy and energy in each day.

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