10 Top Tips to Busting Back to Work Blues for Teachers

Education, Teaching and Learning

Following the recent Guardian’s Secret Teacher article and Carrie’s response to it, we put our heads together and bought you our 10 Top Tips to Busting Back to Work Blues! 

  1. Remember, it’s a fresh start.

This is a completely new academic year. It is the perfect time to make a fresh start, so wipe that slate clean and walk into those school doors like Rocky.

Walk into that school Rocky style.

Walk into that school Rocky style.


2. Let the creative juices flow.

You have had a break. You are feeling relaxed, refreshed and ready. Resist the temptation to fall back into your usual tired habits. Brainstorm. Reflect on what you can do differently and how you can build on successes. Then put it into action.

3. Take it easy.

Don’t laugh. We are serious. It’s great to hit the ground running in the first week back but arriving early and staying late every day leads only to burn out, which isn’t going to help you or your students in the long run. The autumn term is a marathon not a sprint.

Take it easy.

Take it easy.

4. Be Organised

Returning to school after a long time off can feel overwhelming. Make a list of what you need to do that week, and then prioritize each one. A is urgent through to C which can wait till later. If you are anything like us you may find your entire list is full of As – don’t panic – number them 1 – 10, 1 being more important. This will ease the first day back mania.

5. Set Goals

Create and set meaningful goals that inspire you and your class. No matter how big or small goals give purpose to the day, month and year. Just remember, to make them SMART. To give you an idea here is our team goal for this academic year…

Our team goal for the year!

Our team goal for the year!

6. Create. Teach. Share. 

Chances are your colleagues will be feeling exactly same way so grab the bull by the horns and team up. Create an idea exchange in the staff room, a little wall space and post it notes is all that is necessary, fellow teachers can then share activities, ideas, research etc. with minimal effort.

7. Channel Carol Dweck

Let’s face it, nothing ever works out perfectly. Failure is essential. A capacity to persevere is what marks out the most successful teachers. Carol Dweck’s growth mindset theory is becoming a popular approach in schools, but we must not forget to apply the principles to ourselves.


Channel the mighty Dweck.

8. If in doubt, laugh.

Laughter releases endorphins that instantly raise spirits and give a feeling of wellbeing. To help raise your spirits watch this baby laughing hysterically at ripping paper. It is 1 minute 44 seconds of pure joy.

9. Book your next holiday. 

It is only 9 – 10 weeks, or about 50 days until October half – term. But hey, who is counting?

10. Sleep, Sweet, Sleep. 

There is plenty of scientific research on the restorative power of sleep, so we are off for a nap!

Sleep, sweet, sleep

Sleep, sweet, sleep


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