Needless to say, things have been incredibly busy and there has been a ton to learn. Each day this last week, except Wednesday, I attended a full day of professional development to get acclimated to my new district. The good news is, I have used and am familiar with their math series, and both the science and social studies curriculums they use. That takes a ton of pressure off because while I may not have used the most recent versions of any of these programs, I at least have some background in them and won't feel like I'm totally a fish out of water trying to figure out what is happening. This is really important to me since I will be working with and supporting 9 grade levels!
The writing program is one I have not used (or heard of), but is focused around Thinking Maps which I am very familiar with so I'm hopeful that it'll be pretty easy for me to use. (To be fair, I probably won't be doing much direct teaching with it, more like supporting the ELs who need the extra support.)
The reading program is new for everyone except one of the schools that piloted it last year, so everyone is in the same boat with that. As I am between two schools and likely won't actually do much with the new reading program, I am only attending one day of the 3 day reading training (my other two days will be with the middle school staff).
Of course, with all of this PD and the setting up of classroom spaces, things can get overwhelming fast. I vastly appreciate how open everyone has been and all of the information I have been given to help me navigate my new schools. But, being totally honest, it is also really overwhelming to get all of that information! I think this is especially true for those of us who have more than one school and are new. We are trying to figure out what we are doing but things aren't all the same in each school. [I will say I am vastly grateful that there is a lot of expectation of consistency across the whole district. Everyone is expected to use CHAMPS and there are protocols for email and things that just make sense and I'm so glad they are in place. It makes it easier to have some things be universal across every school, especially because there are so many staff members who travel.]
That said, however, it is important to not forget about self care during these busy times. I read somewhere recently that our bodies WILL react if we don't stop and slow down. I can wholeheartedly testify to that truth. When I finished my doctorate, I couldn't read professional books for MONTHS and I had a visceral response to sitting in my home office because my body/brain was like nope, not doing this anymore.
As busy as last week was, and this next week is surely to be, I have found some ways to continue to take care of myself, both in the present moment and in anticipation for what is to come.
For the past many years, Sunday has always been our "chores" day. It is when we do the laundry and grocery shop for the week. It also tends to be the day I finish up anything I need to do for school. Needless to say, Sundays have usually been the exact opposite of relaxing.
Yesterday I made sure we did all of the laundry, we meal planned and then went grocery and back-to-school shopping for the teenagers. It was a busy day for sure. I also made sure to plan out outfits for the next to weeks of work and arranged them in order in my closet so I don't have to worry about it later. I made a schedule for my work days and included time to go to the gym and have down time. By the time I went to bed on Saturday night, I knew that Sunday would be much more easy-going because I took care of myself and pre-planned so many things I could easily get out of the way so they didn't feel so daunting on top of the official start back to work.
Today I also did some meal preparation of breakfast items so I can easily grab and go in the mornings. (I highly recommend the Skinnytaste cook book as there are some great make ahead and grab-on-the-go options for busy mornings!)