I know people might think I'm crazy when I say this, but I get butterflies every morning on my way to work (1 hour commute, about 20 minutes away from the school is when my stomach gets in knots). I don't care whether this is normal or not (I know I have a year of teaching practically under my belt). However, I still get nervous. Any tips for easing the morning nervousness. It's seriously a terrible feeling..
It's normal (smile!)
I still sometimes get nervous - and I've been teaching for a LONG time. I'm a natural born worry-wart, anyway (smile!) But after all these years, I mostly worry if I am not fully prepared for the school day ahead...tests copied, lesson plans for all classes detailed and ready, etc. Nothing can take my mind off teaching if I'm not ready. I try hard to get ready before the day - at the latest, the day before, but I feel less panic if I prepare a week in advance, including copies made (in case the copy machine breaks down that morning - what a nightmare (grin!) If I am prepared, and find myself worrying for what seems to be no good reason, I have learned to listen to books on tape, or a funny morning talk show, to get me to laughing and to stop thinking about work. Laughing really helps...but only if I am prepared (wry smile!)
I've just decided not to care at all. I mean, I get the job done anyways, I always show up with what I need done and ready, so why worry about it. Even in THE WORST CASE scenario, say you lost all your plans for the day and materials, you can just give the kids some book work to do for the period. It wouldn't be the end of the world. You just need to relax more, enjoy the nice weather coming.
@teacherpippi-- I'm nervous I guess b/c I always feel like I'm not prepared enough. Even if everything is set to go.. I just feel like I'm not ready. Yet nothing catastrophic has ever happened. However, I always get the nauseated feeling no matter how hard I try. I feel programmed to be extremely nervous before school for some strange reason. I've tried everything to stop the nervousness. However, even knowing the worst case scenario (which prob. won't occur), I still can't shake the feeling. Maybe I need to put a little more effort into it. I do try though! Also, I've tried taking a different route. However, if I know I'm within a certain distance of the school.. I still get anxious (but it's like a 'before a big race' feeling.. which shouldn't be happening every single day.. you know?)
@cindyblue-- I do listen to the radio and jam out on my way to work. It doesn't really ease my nervousness though. I mean, I'm fine for like the first 1/2 hour. Then the last 20 minutes of the trip, when I'm nearing the school, the butterflies start. It's so bizarre.
@historyguy-- I think you're right in that I really need to chill out. You're def. right about there being worksheets/book-work if all else fails. You know what?... who cares really is the right attitude to have... and spring = less stress!
ohmy gosh... i totally understand... i would often unneccarily stress myself out on the commute... what helped me is that I moved closer to work.
I'm able to sleep in an extra hour, and now that I'm 5min away from work, I don't have time to think about stressing out, bc by then I'm at work & able to do things in my classroom rather than think about it.
I know moving is hard, but if it's at all possible, i recommend it.
If you lived closer to work, I would honestly say WALK to school--- I was freaking out most days while I was student teaching in my first placement. I drove to work, but the parking lot was rather far away from the school--- so the 5 minute walk in the beautiful surroundings of the school (it was built in a forest with natural landscaping of trees and hills) really calmed me down. Plus by the time I was getting to school, the kids were being dropped off and would say hello to me and that really cheered me up when the students were nice enough to say hi OUTSIDE of the classroom.
You could try turning this anxiousness around and using it for good though--- which is also something that I try to do. I usually let it give me the energy to be bright and cheery during the first period, while most students wish they were still back in bed. Sometimes the energy can wear off on them and perk them up.
And one last suggestion: you could try getting to school 20 minutes earlier next year. This way you'll have more time alone in your class to set up things, make copies, chat with teachers, meet with students who need extra help, etc. You can get alot done in those 20 minutes and it might help you lose some of that stress of not being fully prepared.
7th Year as a Science Teacher to Elementary Kiddos
“The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
Same problem. One thing that helps me is to write an outline of my lesson plan, and write down anything else that I think of doing, and then when I worry that I won't have enough to do I rehearse that in my head. "Yes you do know what you're doing. Today you're doing X, Y, and then Z. And if something bombs, you can do A, B, or C." Kind of cools me off sometimes.
I'm sorry that you're feeling so nervous. It'll get better!
Do you drink coffee or caffeinated tea in the morning? If you do, you might want to cut back or stop completely. It could be some sort of caffeine rush that you're feeling, and not really nerves.
Do you have your daily plans outlined in advance? I know that I get nervous when I'm not entirely sure what we'll be doing that day. I feel much more relaxed when I have a plan (even a very loose one) in mind.
Otherwise, get some good, groovy music to help you chill before starting your day. I recommend Ben Harper, anything reggae, and Guster.
I get nervous after a long break...or basically every Sunday night. Or when I know I have an observation that next day. I know I have anxiety problems and sometimes have panic attacks...but I try to calm my nerves by listening to some Bob Marley. Once I"m at school, I"m fine. But it's always that anticipation that gets me.