Picture of teacher and supplement bottles

Preparing Parents for Back-to-School

As a teacher, I am busier than Santa in the month of December once August comes around. Like your children, I too am entering a new grade level this year. I have been transitioning to a new classroom in an entirely new building, packing and unpacking. How do I have so much stuff? Combining old and new supplies, will I need this or not? Decorating the new classroom, 2nd grade decor vs 5th grade decor, hmmm? Changing to a new curriculum, science is going to be fungi! Preparing my mind and body; meditation, sleep, exercise and nutrition.

Whether you are a teacher, student, or parent, you must prepare! Back to school means everyone needs to get back into the routine. Don’t wait until the day before school starts to start preparing your mind and body. Try these wellness tips to make your back-to-school transition a little easier.

Getting Ready for the School Year

  1. Sleep. Plan for the appropriate amount. The National Sleep Foundation recommends preschoolers should get 10 to 13 hours of sleep each night, school age children 9 to 11 hours, teens 8 to 10 hours, and adults 7 to 9 hours.

  2. Mental Health. Mindfulness moments and meditation helps keep our minds and bodies present and in the moment. Be sure to carve time out of your busy day to focus on you.

  3. Exercise. Physical activity should be part of your day now and throughout the year. Take the steps instead of the elevator, park further away from buildings, and get the kids playing outside.

  4. Nutrition. Cut back on eating the greasy and sugary foods of summer. Food is energy and selecting fresh heathier options is the best fuel for your body. If you’re not already taking a daily multivitamin, you may want to think about adding one. Vitamins can aid in nutrient gaps when needed and our overall wellness, not to mention the added support for our immune systems.*

  5. Hydration. Drink water! Water supports digestion, brain health, skin health and so much more! Did you know kids ages 4 to 8 should have around 5 cups of water a day? 9 to 13 year olds, 7 to 8 cups, and 14 year olds to adults should have between 8 to 11 cups each day?**

Let’s face it, school is a lot of work for everyone, but it is also a wonderful-wouldn’t-want-to-be-anywhere-else place for so many. I love education. Seriously, love it. And I wouldn’t want any other career. So, let’s get ourselves ready for an amazingly, busy year!

**Amounts vary by individual, level of activity and environmental conditions.

Before making any changes to your diet or wellness routine, please check with your healthcare provider first to determine what is right for you.

By Contributing Author: Mrs. Kim Pugno

Newaygo Middle School, 5th Grade Teacher