Tips for teachers when you go back to work


Jun 26, 2010
United States
Some comments about returning to school!


For those who remember my thread a few weeks ago about moving and setting up a new classroom, I went in today for the first time. I had help - all I had to do was point. They gave me a parking spot right outside the door, which is right outside my room. I had to walk down to the office once. I dusted a bit. And after an hour and a half, I had to leave. I was exhausted. I'm a little surprised. I even sat much of the time! The floors are hard - cement and wood. Goodness knows what will happen when I have to teach.

Now, I have tried an experiment over the past few days. I was noticing that I wasn't feeling "pain" exactly in the middle of the afternoon, so I let that pain pill go. It hasn't bothered me so that I notice and that would put me at two vicodin per day. But I wonder if that change affected me today. I'll have to experiment.

Just wanted to give my fellow teachers an update.

I also went in today to set up my classroom. I found out 2 weeks ago that I had to move to another classroom. My hubby helped me pack and the custodians moved all my stuff to my new classroom last week. Well, half was outside and half was inside. My son moved all my furniture and set up it up last week. Today I began unpacking the boxes to put everything away. One of my friends came in and did all my bulletin boards. I couldn't have done it without her. She had to climb up on the tables to get to them. I spent about 5 hrs. there and got a lot done. I sat on my chair with wheels most of the time and rolled around the room. I even rolled all the way down to the office-anything to save my knee LOL. I am now sitting with my knee elevated and icing it. Oh took a pain pill before I went and when I came home. i still have a bunch of work to do in it and was glad my knee held up pretty well. Oh, I brought my ice pack with me and rested in between. I think my chair with wheels saved me.


Last year I had BTKR on June 25th, the day after school got out for the summer, and I returned to school on August 24th. Setting up my room was difficult. I needed help. I only did it for a couple of hours a day and sat most of the time on a wheeling chair or in an actual wheelchair but it was still tiring. Elevation and ice were my friends.

Here are a few things that helped me when I started the school year last year so I offer them as suggestions to you.
- I kept a high stool without wheels for safely getting up and down in the front of my room to rest on when my knees bothered me.
- I also told my students from the start about my surgery and they were great passing out papers and such in the classroom.
- I teach middle school science so I asked students who were in study halls if they would be interested in coming to help me set up for an activity or clean up after one. I was always able to get a couple of volunteers who did a great job. There was an added benefit in my getting to know these kids better in smaller groups than we deal with in the classroom.
- I took advantage of the assistance offered by others such as colleagues who offered chck myailbox in the office saving me a trip.
- We have to check in at the office each morning and it was a long way from my room. With administrative permission, I emailed the secretary each morning when I arrived at school and she signed me in for the day.
- I let the school nurse know about my recovery. She was a great help sending ice to me at different times during the day.
- I have other physical issues so I ride a scooter at school giving me greater movement throughout the building all day but at the beginning it might not be a bad idea to have access to a wheelchair on an "as needed" basis to give yourself a break from standing but still allow you to get around the building if needed. The school nurse may be able to assist with this as well. (Mine offered and I was very appreciative of this.)
- I kept a small stool (such as a little plastic step stool) handy in your classroom to at least partially elevate my leg when possible. I use the computer a good deal in the early morning and at the end of the day and I found I could easily elevate my leg with the stool and a few pillows I brought into school. I did this at lunch too and iced my knees. It helped to get me through the day.
- If the doctor is okay with it and the weather is not too hot you may wish to consider wearing support stockings if you find you are swelling too much at work. I didn't wear them all of the time but when I did they seemed to help.
- I kept up with pain meds as needed and appropriate. You will gradually find you don't need them.

You may also find you are exhausted at night those first few weeks back so be prepared for it and give into it. I was asleep some nights before 7:30 P.M. but it made getting up at 5:15 A.M. and facing a new day doable. I gained strength and stamina over time and so will you.

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