At this time of year many of us are trying to get back into that school morning routine.
Having a routine makes such a difference to how smoothly your morning goes and if your morning runs smoothly you arrive at school feeling calm. It is as simple as that.
For as long as I can remember I have had the same routine on a school morning. It goes something like this:
- Brush teeth
- Hair and make up
- Get dressed
- Empty dishwasher
- Make lunches
- Make breakfast
- Eat breakfast
- Leave for school
It sounds simple enough doesn’t it?
That’s because it is.
While I’m doing all this my children are going through the steps in their morning routine too so that by the time breakfast is ready they are dressed and ready and have their bags packed. We have breakfast together and off we go.
There are sometimes deviances if there is something unusual happening but most days if you arrive at my house at 7:40am I will be emptying the dishwasher. If you arrive at 7:15am I will be putting on my make up.
You might be thinking “What are you some kind of control freak?” Well, no, I’m really not, I just know that if I do everything in the same order every morning then I don’t forget to do things. The children feel happier because they know what is happening too.
There is nothing worse than dashing round grabbing at random objects, flying out of the door and wondering if you have remembered everything. It is stressful and feels icky.
So when does my morning start?
Well, it actually starts the night before. Not in a big formal way but if there is anything I know I need with me for the day that isn’t normally in my work bag I make sure I put it in the night before. I also make sure the children put anything they need into their bags. I plan in my head what I am going to wear the next day and sometimes even how I will wear my hair (sounds daft but some styles take longer than average and I need to allow longer to get ready). Then I make sure I am in bed and asleep at a reasonable time. Being tired makes everything take longer in the morning and I am much more likely to forget something or knock something over. By getting enough sleep I am making sure I have time to recharge and also helping my morning routine run more smoothly.
By planning ahead a little I can stay in bed until 7am (I love my sleep!) and still be ready to leave the house by 8:15am.
Routine is so important in order for children to feel safe and secure. What we forget is that it also makes most adults feel the same way. If you know that you always do the same things before you leave the house then you don’t have to worry about whether you have forgotten to do something.
We have all had those days when something happens which we aren’t expecting; someone rings or you have to take the car to the garage on the way, everything suddenly feels wrong and we panic.
Those days are always going to happen. There will always be a day when you have to take into account something different, but if you can keep your routine as similar to usual as possible you will feel calmer and happier leaving the house.
Allow plenty of time to get to school
It always amazes me how many people are running late, every day. If you know that you are always pushed for time, get up a little bit earlier so that you aren’t dashing round every day. There is nothing worse than being stuck in traffic knowing you need to photocopy those worksheets for first lesson! You will feel so much calmer if you do!
When you arrive at school
When you arrive at school, make sure you allow time to do all the preparation you have to do, but also to have a few moments to chat with colleagues, or have a hot drink, before the children arrive. I appreciate that this can be difficult if you have your own children to drop off but if you can do more preparation the night before to enable you to have those few minutes of calm before the bell it really does help you to feel more calm and collected.
Take a few deep breaths
When the bell rings, take a few seconds to take a few deep breaths and really collect yourself. Being in this calm and contented place when the children come in will set the tone for the whole day. The children will pick up on your mood and will mirror it back to you. It’s like magic!
Be organised – plan and prepare as much as you can the night before.
Get enough sleep.
Routine – have a workable morning routine and stick to it.
Allow plenty of time to get there so you arrive at school feeling calm.
Take time to collect yourself.
You’ve got this!
Remember calm happy teachers, have calm, happy classrooms.
Do you want to read more about creating a calm and happy classrooms?
Check out these old blogs: