Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Teacher Shape: The First Chapter

Someday, I'm going to write a book.  My book will be about basic survival tactics for your first year(s) of teaching. I may not be a first year teacher anymore, but I still have much to learn. Hopefully, once my book is published I'll be a little wiser.

Back to my book. Maybe some of you will read my book filled with humor and great ideas? I know at least my grandma and my dad will pick up a copy. Two copies closer to the best sellers list! Okay.. I bet I can convince a few more people to thumb through it.  Scott? Erica? Abby? Ali? Alissa? Teresa? I'll send you all signed copies in advance. That's fancy author talk - I'll explain later.

You Reading My Future Book... On an Elephant
One of my chapters of My Future Book That Does Not Have a Title (or any other chapters) will be "Teacher Shape". P.S. we are currently referring to my book as the above underlined titled... just so we're on the same page. (hehe witty book humor)

Teacher Shape (a working chapter)

One of my brilliant friends and thankfully former coworkers informed me of the phenomenon that is Teacher Shape. In a nutshell, Teacher Shape is readying the body, mind, and bladder for the upcoming and rigorous school year. We all know teaching is hard work, but it takes more than just prettyin' up your classroom and making copies. Let's look at each of these components individually.


As I sit here on the eve of the first day of work... my back is aching. Last week, when I was climbing all over desks, chairs, and cabinets (shh don't tell!) I came home to stiff arms. The week before when I was moving bookshelves, carrying tables, and moving boxes... I felt like my legs had ran a marathon. Clearly, my body is in no physical condition to just JUMP into these kinds of activities. Two things are obvious: I was really lazy all summer and my body is failing me at an terribly young age.

To prevent the inevitable from happening (me having to be wheeled into work on the first day of school), I suggest the following tips.  Although it must be noted that I do not ever follow my own advice. As long as we know this in advance, I cannot be labeled a hypocrite. Ahem, the tips:

1.  USE A DOLLEY! These things were probably invented in the 1800's. It's worth hunting one down in the school to carry boxes and boxes of goodies to your classroom.

2. USE A LADDER! Instead of stacking chairs on top of desks to make a more convenient ladder, I again suggest the hunting method. (See tip #1)

3. Perhaps participate in a little physical activity? Don't follow my lead and spend your summer watching marathons of Netflix shows, baking, and talking to a dog.

4. Stay HYDRATED! Although, this one makes the "Bladder" section difficult. I strongly suggest drinking more water than caffeine. I've experienced the opposite and I'm pretty sure I blacked out at lunch and came to around recess time. Just kidding. But really, too much caffeine throws me into a tizzy of the shakes and the meanies.


Maybe you're like me and you experience brain farts often. Often being everyday...unfortunately. It's wonderful that our schools have us come back a week or so in advance, so we can begin prepping our minds for real thinking again. Let's face it, in the summer... not a lot of thinking goes on. I don't speak for everyone, but here are some example of "tough" thoughts I made in the summer of 2012:

Should I put bananas or pineapples in my smoothie today?
Should I download "Bossy Pants" or "Most Talkative" on my iPod first?
What should I update my profile picture to?
Should I wake up at 9:45 or 10:00 today?
Should I let my laundry sit on my bed for a week or the couch?

All right, you caught me. I'm not including the actual important thoughts I had this summer, but I'm just proving a point. Those were ACTUAL thoughts that crossed my mind. When it comes to school, students, curriculum, meetings, students, students, and students... we have a lot to think about and consider. It's the most important part of the job! In my first year of teaching, my mentor told us a fun fact about thinking teachers. It's been said (I can't find a source at the moment) that in an hour teachers make more decisions than an air traffic controller. Incredible, huh? I think we can all relate to that moment when Johnny, Bobby, Mr. So and So, Mrs. Toots, and Carl all have something that has to be solved at that very moment. 

I wish I could offer some helpful tips for prepping your mind for all of the thinking. Sadly, I've got absolutely nothing. This is where you come in faithful reader. I'll leave an open blank box for you to write advice to me. Who knew My Future Book That Does Not Have a Title would benefit both parties?


It becomes evident far too quickly in the school year that using the bathroom at any time is just not possible. I'm one who likes to drink a big 'ol glass of water before I leave my house topped off with a cup of coffee or sugar free red bull. By 8:00 AM, my brain and bladder are about to burst. I apologize if this is too much information, but it's the facts of life: when you've got to go, you've got to go. 

It's as if we have to train our bladders to use the bathroom during specific times. Just like a runner wishes to complete their next 5K in under a certain time, my bladder needs to know that I can ONLY use the bathroom during x amount of times:

We all know how difficult the training can be. It won't happen over night, folks. Sorry! The truth hurts. I hope that I have many heads nodding with me as I'm writing this. Once again, I don't have any great advice. My advice would be... hold it? Probably not the best advice actually. Scratch that, I have no advice for this one either. I recall a moment in 8th grade, when I (for some extremely bizarre reason) told my teacher that I was going to "hold it" all day long. She quickly informed me that I was making a terrible decision and to use the bathroom immediately.  Sheesh, I was a weird kid. 

I apologize for the extreme lack of helpful advice throughout this chapter, but hopefully we can all relate here. The training of the mind, body, and bladder can be painful at first - but eventually, it makes the job much easier. 

There you have it folks! My work in progress. Like I said, someday... someday I'll write a book. Rome wasn't built in a day! :)


  1. I've got to get my bladder trained again. No way can I get up and go every few hours like I've been doing.

    Teaching in an Organized Mess

    1. SAME HERE! I thought I was going to die last night for an hour during meet the teacher!!

  2. 1. I'd buy your book in a heartbeat! Need an illustrator? :)
    2. Im always an expert bladder holder during the school year, but my summers always mess me up! Ive got to build my stamina all over again. lol
    3.I thought I was the only one who stacked chairs on top of desks to reach high places in the classroom...shhhh! I wont tell if you wont!

    1. I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one! Thanks for reading!

  3. Replies
    1. That's great! I need to work on a few more chapters now!

  4. I'm a new follower! :) Your blog today made me laugh...its all so true! :) I look forward to reading more of your Future Book That Does Not Have A Title! :)

    A Frenzy of Fun in 1st Grade

    1. Thanks for following!! I'm excited to add more chapters. I don't think having one page will sell many books. :)

  5. Hi Jordon:
    1) Your "new" blog is adorable!
    2) I was laughing and nodding and nodding and laughing as I read along. I think have done every one of those "dangerous" things!
    3) The bladder issue! I've been teaching thirty years. Seems like there are fewer "opportunities" than ever before! Solving that dilemma alone would make your book a best seller!

    Loved this post!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    1. Thank you thank you!! I'll work on coming up with a radical solution to the bladder problem. Stay tuned!!

  6. Hilarious! I loved reading your post and was nodding along with everyone else. I always forget how much energy teaching takes. The first few weeks with the kids I'm beyond exhausted. They really take it out of me. We teachers have to rebuild our own stamina each year.

    The Teaching Thief
    Fiction Friday: A Celebration of Children’s Literature

    1. YES! Lots of rebuilding. I crashed so early last night. Hope your year is going well!!

  7. Okay, first off, SO glad you're a new follower of mine so I could find your blog and be a new follower of yours! Next, I love the idea of this book and would totally read it. I'm not going to lie...I'm a little jealous of your 3 available bathroom times! I'm not sure when my break will be, but I'll have one and I believe it's in the morning. I'm usually able to sneak off during lunch. BUT, since I'm preggo now, I'm pretty sure I'll HAVE to go more than twice a day!

    Living A Wonderful Life

    P.S. Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog post!

    1. Hooray! I'm so glad that blogging introduced us!
      Good luck with those bathroom times. A few teachers in my building are pregnant and I feel for them. Look forward to reading more about you!!


Add This


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...