I’m such a morning person (I realize everybody just cringed there!) and even if you aren’t I wanted to share a little of my morning routine and how I get mentally prepared for the day ahead. I feel like this time is taken for granted and can be really easily utilized.
*note* I’m not overly organized and I’m a mom as well so I understand the craziness that is taking place at home – these are just things I do to help combat it!
1. Play Great Morning Music
Whether you are into Pop, Rock, Christian – whatever! Play something that sets a great tone for the day! I love to have this song below linked on my desktop and I play it before school or as the kids are coming in. I know another blogger suggested it (???) and I LOVE IT!!!
Usually something upbeat so I can get my mind the in the right place and the tone I want to set in my classroom! It helps clear my head and start the day fresh.
You can certainly start this in your drive/walk to school by playing it in the car! Even a funny podcast or DJ can really start your day off positively. I know sometimes we leave the house on the wrong foot and it can be hard to not play the sad music that “fits” but I really shy away from that and focus on the great day ahead with my students!
2. Spend some Quiet Time Alone
You’re probably reading this thinking…didn’t she say she was a mom…who has quiet time…in the morning?! I’ll let you in on a little secret (well not that little)
I use my car for some quiet time. I get out the door at approximately the same time every day and get to school around 7:17 (OCD- much?!) and I use about 5 min or so to pray for my students, my teaching that day, my husband and my son. I have about a 15-20 min drive to work but usually my mind is reeling then just full of thoughts. When I stop the car I take the extra time to focus on the day and really get my mind in the right place.
Meditating or just some quiet time in general SO HELPS me focus and start off the day on the right foot! I cannot tell how much this change has made this year alone! I also try to do this at my recess time (we’re lucky and don’t have to supervise!) I just take 2-3 min to reflect about my morning with a couple lights off and focus on what we need to accomplish in the afternoon. I feel so much more ready to tackle anything after stopping to think and praying about it.
3. Prep in Advance
This could mean a lot of things to a lot of people! I pack my lunch and bring it daily so getting it ready and laid out the night before along with clothes for me and my son really helps things run smoothly. I just take the 5 min the night before and it saves me some running around in the morning. Does this happen every day – NO!
On the days it does get done – sweet, if not no big deal. I tend to cook larger meals and we usually have leftovers frequently and those are easy for lunch. Otherwise prepping weekly for lunches/dinners can be a great time saver.
This frees up just a little morning time for extra cuddles, hugs, or play time unless we’ve slept in late. 🙂
4. Greeting Students
There are a couple different ways I like to do this. It can be hard when they storm in the room and unpack and get to morning work. I like to have a relatively quiet classroom and this is one of those times it doesn’t seem possible. Instead of being demanding when I know they have jobs that require noise I embrace it.
Our bell system makes this easy since we have a “warning” bell and they know they have 4 min to finish up their tasks after entering about 12 min earlier.
I put on school appropriate music or the song from earlier! Something upbeat they can hum to while making a lunch choice. I also like to greet students at the door and smile and give them a pat on the back coming in. Asking about a game from last night or where they got in their book are good conversations as well.
Some ideas I want to incorporate next year are from the amazing Miss5th! She has secret handshakes for students and awesome whiteboard messages that have been so awesome already this year! Engaging and focused kind of with a morning meeting feel but without the time commitment. Just another way to start the day off positively. We all know there can be one teacher or student that can ruin a day and starting each day fresh gives everyone a new chance.
We can’t be perfect sometimes we bring baggage in and moving forward and starting over are great examples for students in that respect as well.
5. Clean/Organize just a little
Sorry another cringe worthy one! Who is she kidding, I know!!! Hopefully if you get to school just a smidge early this one is possible. I like to walk in, check my thermostat (adjust if necessary) and write up our ELA plan for the day – easy for me and kiddos to know what’s going on.
I head over to my desk to get papers together and sorted then I find just a little one or 2 things I can put away/throw away/file and do that! There is always something. Instead of the end of the year I try to do it bit by bit.
I organize my shelves by subject so I have to pull papers out each day – I do it that way because it depends on how much we get to (its unconventional but it works minus sub plans being super confusing if they don’t know my system) Does my desk look super clean – again NO! Do I know where everything I need for the day is? YES! Just cleaning and organizing a few of the paper chaos that comes with our jobs helps so much. You stay ahead. It’s not piled on at the end of the year! Clean slate for the day/week.
I can’t believe it but I’ll show you some of this madness – can’t say I don’t keep it real.
I hope these tips help you in your routine and your classroom. It is important to focus on yourself and get the day started in the right place – setting the tone for your students! What’s your best morning routine tip??