The Night Before

Since last week’s post was so long, I thought I’d keep this one short and sweet.

Getting as much stuff ready the night before is a lesson that I begrudgingly learned over too long a period of time. There are a number of reasons why getting ready the night before is super helpful in the substitute world. Some examples are:

  • I am not a morning person. I am cranky and slow in the morning. Sometimes it’s a wonder I even brush my hair. My priority is getting out the door on time. Having everything ready makes the morning feel less awful.
  • Some schools start at 9am. Some schools start at 8am. Some schools are 10 minutes away. Some schools are 60 minutes away. The amount of time I have at home in the morning is in constant flux, so sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the morning to get everything ready.
  • A lot of substitute calls come at 6 in the morning. I don’t know why the system is working in a way that wakes people up in a panic to an unexpected phone call (I get that sometimes early morning calls are unavoidable, but most of the times they’re not) but it is and sometimes all I have time for is a spray of dry shampoo and to grab the stuff I packed the night before just in case.

So, what are the things I do the night before?

  • Pack my lunch and have it waiting in the fridge (and if I don’t get a supply call, I can even leave it for the next day!)
  • Get my outfit ready. I’m sure for most guys, choosing clothing in the morning isn’t as big a deal as it is for most gals, but for myself it was a big time-waster. Now, it’s hanging on the closet door waiting for me (and if I don’t get a supply call, I can even leave it for the next day!)
  • Make sure my bag is packed. You already know what I have deemed to be a necessity in a teacher’s bag, so I check to make sure I have everything I need and restock anything I may have used (usually just my tomato juice and the occasional protein bar that ends up in there).
  • Set my coffee maker to start brewing before I have to wake up. That way, I wake up to the smell of coffee, I don’t have to waste time or money buying coffee on my way to school, and I avoid the horrors of going to a school that is nowhere near a Tim Hortons. (and if I don’t get a supply call, I can drink coffee in bed!) Personal exception; Fridays I treat myself.
  • Set my phone to “Phone Calls Only”. This way, any early morning calls will go through, but any text or Facebook notifications will stay silent.
One of these is a source of magic and wonderment for a teacher. The other should be left at home no matter how much you want to bring it with you. I’ll let you use your professional judgment to decide which one is which.

On the rare occasions when I am an irresponsible adult (i.e.: frequently) I will forget to get gas in my car, so there are also times that I will leave myself a post-it note on my phone that says “GAS!” to remind myself to leave a few minutes early and gas up my car.

It has taken me a while to get this proactive about getting ready in the morning the night before, but I really appreciate and enjoy how organised and pulled-together it makes me feel. It makes a vast difference for the mornings when you are called at 6:30 to be at school for 7:50 and when you get there the teacher you’re replacing has left you bare-bones plans. At least you’re caffeinated!

9 thoughts on “The Night Before

  1. My morning routine is my saving grace. These past few months I’ve not been getting enough sleep so mornings are rough. Having my clothes laid out and my bag ready to go helps me get out the door feeling a little more human!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I just discovered your blog and I feel like I hit a gold mine!

    I just completed my 4th day of official occasional teaching (graduated in June 2015) and let’s just say, these last few days have been a steep learning curve.

    I think a lot of times, OTs (especially new ones), can feel quite alone and helpless when they don’t have any familiar schools, seniority or experience (other than practicum) to fall back on. Your blog reminded me that I’m not alone. Thank you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Welcome Mandy!
      OT work can be so lonely! Yes, there are other OTs who you get to know, but nothing is consistent and it is hard when you don’t have your own meeting place (you never really get over feeling like a guest in a staff room). BUT! It does get easier! I hope you find my blog helpful 😊


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