Beating the ‘Back-to-Work’ Jitters

The Merry-Go-Round of life is about to kick off again this week. After two weeks of holidays, it is back to school tomorrow for me and the children. And starting back gives me the jitters. For me it is the fear of the unknown. Which student will need extra support? Which student (or students) will provide behaviour challenges? Every term I have a new cohort of students as our students stay for six months (twelve if they are refugees) and then move on. An hour in tomorrow and everything will be sweet again. The unknown will be on they way to becoming known.

So how to beat the jitters?

Keep busy

Today I have cleaned the house, which whilst not exciting, was definitely needed. And it kept me physically busy. I am also trying to finish an article for my next assessment piece that will be posted on my blog’s portfolio page very soon. That has been cheerfully keeping my brain busy.

Distract yourself

A movie the day before work goes back is one of my favourite distractions.  With a big screen, lots of sound, some popcorn and a coffee, my senses are overwhelmed to the point where there is no room left in my brain to think about work.

Other distractions for me include going to the gym, spending time doing something with the family…but I don’t think I can recommend Monopoly…

Be prepared


This is my work program. Blank pages are scary. So I have filled in some details for tomorrow. Again though, it won’t be until I meet my students and get to know them a little, that I can plan for the rest of the week. Flexibility is also important.

So I’m off to keep working on my article for my assessment and then play ‘Banagrams’ with my daughter.

How do you beat the ‘Back-to-Work’ jitters?





Developing my blog, challenging my brain.

OK, this writing course is stretching my brain and to think this is my holidays!

For someone who only joined Facebook just over a year ago, I am a little behind in understanding the world of social media, the web and IT. Developing this blog is definitely growing my IT skills (hopefully in a good way). I have watched so many YouTube tutorials to try to understand what I am supposed to do to upload things and even navigate around my blog. I think a part of my issue here is that I expect things to be easy. Like when Siri tells you what to do.

Fingers crossed, I have managed to upload my first article on my Portfolio page. It was an assessment task for my writing course. I chose to write an educational handout on How Rome Began. I had a lot of fun learning how to scribble with the copyediting symbols all over my earlier drafts and learning how to copyedit onscreen. I am actually proud of my article and found it fascinating watching my own progression from first draft to final piece.

I’d love it if you were able to read and comment on the article. What do you like? Can you see any areas for further improvement?

Let’s start at the very beginning…

It’s a funny story how I ended up doing a writing course and maybe I will tell it one day. But in November last year, I was under the impression that I would be teaching art again in 2017. Knowing that I didn’t have to assess or write reports, and thinking that I would revisit some of my art lessons and tweak others, I thought why not sign up for a writing course? It was five weeks before Christmas, as if life wasn’t busy enough…

One week before Christmas I found out that it was back to the classroom for me in 2017. …so back to assessment….and back to reporting…. and not being able to plan too far in advance because of the nature of the students in our school. I knew that 2017 would be a juggling act with trying to balance work, study and life.

The reason I began the writing course was that I believe there is a gap in the market for older English as an Additional Language (EAL) learners. (EAL is the term we use for our students. Other places might refer to this as ESL or EFL learners). Our students need simple texts that are age appropriate. Something that works for beginning language learners at five, doesn’t work for a twelve-year-old.

question marksSo I’m now four months into the course and the juggle is real. I try to get ahead in the course during the school holidays for when I get too busy during the term. The problem with this is that the kids are missing me. Even though we’ve been to the movies or done something ‘fun’ for the day it’s still –  “Mum, when are you going to come out? You’re always in the study!”

I’d love to know how others juggle the work/life balance. Or the work/study/life balance. How do you make things work?