Sunday, August 6, 2017

Maximize your Lunch Break

Who else is thinking about the back to school season? If you’re a Type A teacher like us, you’ve been thinking about the new school year for weeks now. One of the things on our mind is how to use time more efficiently during the school day and we decided to start with our lunch breaks. For the past several years, our lunch breaks have been filled with last minute copies, making parent phone calls, running to the bathroom, and maybe having a bite to eat. Listen carefully: a jam-packed lunch break is okay! As long as it’s in moderation, like chocolate 😊
We’re making a commitment to have at least one school-free lunch break during the week! Often times, busy lunch breaks just exhaust our energy quicker, when we should be using that time to refuel for the afternoon with our students.
One way we’re double dosing our lunch break is by implementing a potluck style lunch with our co-workers. Each co-worker could bring an ingredient for a nice salad, or the designated co-worker could bring enough lunch supplies for the group and everyone involved could take turns bringing group lunches in. If you follow us on Instagram, you know we love organization so we created this sign-up sheet to help organize group lunches this year.

You can find the free Lunch Sign-Up Form in our TpT store!
And in case you’re wondering, here’s a picture of a lunch one of the Double Dose ladies made for her co-worker. Turkey bacon, egg whites, a sprinkle of cheese, and a banana.

As we promised above, we’re committing ourselves to one work-free lunch break a week and we decided that, as difficult as it is, we need to turn off our “teacher brains”. We’ll be incorporating some of the following ideas to help us achieve teacher nirvana…or something close to it 😊
·      Taking a walk around the building
·      Listening to music or a non-education podcast
·      Coloring in our meditation coloring books
·      Browsing through Pinterest for home décor ideas
·      Reading a magazine or book
·      Quick phone calls home to check on our families
·      Planning next week’s dinner menu
·      Looking for new restaurants to try
·      Practicing self-care like desk yoga, using stress relief lotion, etc
·      Scrolling through pictures on our phones of our families, pets, and friends

On the flip side, it’s totally okay to give into your to-do list. Sometimes, knocking things off your list while you have a spare few minutes makes you feel accomplished. It just depends on how much energy you have that day. If your teacher brain is constantly on the fly, here are some tips to make your time even more effective:
·      Eat first. Unless you’re stuck in a 10 minute line for the microwave. In that case, check your mailbox and run to the bathroom while you wait for the line to die down
·      Accomplish tasks effectively. Do you need to print those calendars today? Or can they wait until your prep period, after school, or tomorrow morning? There’s no need to rush making those copies for next week when you have some spare time before then
·      Run errands in order of location. Need to print something, check out the laptop cart, and drop a note off in the office? Choose a route that’s most effective for your classroom’s location. Zig-zagging around the building and walking in loops uses more time.
·      Unless it’s an emergency, say no to the parent phone call. Make sure parents know your office hours and schedule them for before or after school. Sometimes they can be stressful, carry on for too long, or make you feel anxious. Save the parent phone calls for another time.
Just remember that you are in control of your lunch break and use it to benefit yourself and your teaching practice.
Interested in our other lunch prep series? Check them out below:

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