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  • Writer's pictureRachel Dubrow, LCSW

Conquering the "Sunday Scaries"

A female thinking with her arm on a desk.

I hear from a lot of teachers, assistants, and school administration that, come August 1, they start to feel the "Sunday Scaries". So, what, you might ask, are the "Sunday Scaries". It's this feeling of nervousness, worry, or even fear of the upcoming school year.

To some, it can be that "I'm not looking forward to this" feeling or dread. To others, it can be this intense need to start controlling aspects of work, such as preparing for the first week of school even though it doesn't start for another few weeks. I also hear that it doesn't just happen on Sundays in August, though often transitions to Sundays once the school year is in full swing.

However you define and experience it, we can all agree that it isn't the most pleasant feeling. And the more often you feel it, the more desperate you are to conquer it.

Let's talk through a 4-step guide to help you get in front of it:

1. Take an inventory of the past school year. What were the easy parts? What were the things you struggled with? Write down 3-5 things in each category if you can.

2. Look at this inventory and put a star, circle, or underline the things that you are 100% positive will still exist in the upcoming year. Maybe it's classroom location or who your co-teacher is. Perhaps it is working with the same colleagues or students in the upcoming year. Is it teaching the same course(s) from last year? Is your childcare situation the same? What about your commute to and/or from work?

3. Now, look at the inventory and cross out what you have 100% certainty will not be the same as last year. Are you teaching 3rd grade this year instead of 2nd? Will you have new students? A new Principal or Superintendent? Are you leaving for work at an earlier or later time?

4. Finally, ask yourself what you have 100% control over as you head into this year. Focus on those things daily or weekly if you need to. Whenever the "Sunday Scaries" come up for you, refer back to this list. And, feel free to make changes as needed.

I invite you to try this guide and see how it works for you. Contact us if you want more personalized help tackling the "Sunday Scaries" so that you can have a smoother school year.


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