What not to do?
1. Referrals – Obviously if something crazy happens, write one, but try to limit sending kids to the principal by writing referrals. This let’s your kids and your administrators know that things are completely out of control. This will earn you a lot of paperwork, a lot of negativity from your students, and a heaping helping of teacher depression and powerlessness. That leads to the next 2.
2. Alcohol – Booze is not the answer. Really, it’s not. Teachers know teachers love to drink. If PD could be at happy hour, everyone would be on time ready to develop professionally. If the drinks were free, teacher would be early. The reality is that while teachers love to have a good time, alcohol makes you slow, it makes you angry, and everything you’re going through gets much worse when you pile on booze soaked embarrassments, hangovers, and an expanding waistline…thanks number 3.
3. Junk food – Whether you’re eating bar food or crushing hot Cheetos with your students, eating your feelings is just as addictive and easy as drinking them. Getting fat on top of being grumpy with your classroom is a recipe for disaster. Kids are honest. It only takes one student asking if you’re pregnant or saying that you are obese to send you off the deep end. Do NOT let a student touch your belly with curiosity. One way ticket to teacher depressionville.
In short, do the good and avoid the bad. Exercise makes people happy. Keep all the fun stuff in moderation and remember that you’re a role model now (terrifying, I know) and your primary focus is the development of an entire human being and their future. You have earned a good time, but keep it classy and on the weekends.