Save Your Sanity This School Year

It’s back to school time! Probably my favorite time of the school year.  That glow quickly fades when you get slapped punched in the face with the brutal routine that is ten months of our lives.  And you know what?  When your life is ruled by stress and exhaustion, your teaching is going to suffer.  Here are a few tips sorted by costliness (because hey-we’re teachers, money is a real thing.)

Sanity saving tips for teachers.  Make the school year a little less crazy with these 8 tips.

Who doesn’t love free???  You know what’s free?

Saying no.

I have done this a million times--said yes to things that I did not have the time, energy, or mental resources to manage.  Only when I was running around like a lunatic trying to take care of these things and realized that my family completely hated me because of it did I learn to say no.
Before you say yes (which we all want to do because we want everyone to love us), ask yourself what  the cost is at home.  Then decide if it’s worth it.  I’m not saying you should say no to everything, but be honest with yourself about why you’re doing it and what the cost is to you, your sanity, and your family.

Stop Talking

Y’all, I am a talker.  I know some of you are like me, and some of you are trying to avoid the me’s of the world, so you can get stuff done.  Whichever camp you live in, grab this sign, shut the door, get stuff done, and go home at a decent time.

Sorry! I Can’t Chat.  Print this freebie, hang it on your door, get stuff done.

A cooked chicken

Um, okay.  Seriously, though, you need to have a go to dinner.  Rotisserie chickens are my best friend on crazy days.  My husband travels a good bit, so on days when my he’s gone and my life is only going to get crazier AFTER I leave school, I go for the chicken.
There is a Whole Foods across the street from my school.  I can grab a cooked chicken, some potatoes, and a veggie easy peasy.  It’s a little more than if you were going to cook a normal dinner yourself but the same or even less than eating out.

p.s. Do my kids get tired of this meal?  Yes.  Do I care?  No.  It is my duty to provide them with a healthy meal, and that is where my responsibility ends.

A Teacher Shirt

When you’re having a jeans and t-shirt kind of morning, but it’s actually a school day, these are perfect.  It’s a t-shirt, but it’s professional, y’all.  Throw it on with some black pants, and you’re good to go.  You’re not slacking, you are fully embracing your career through clothing choices.

I love this one from Cents of Style:

Buy it on TPT

I know it adds up, and you could make it yourself (maybe?), and it would probably be amazing.  Or you could buy it on Teachers Pay Teachers and then catch up on The Real Housewives.  Which one sounds more relaxing?

A Charger

Nothing’s worse than getting to school with 10% left on your phone.  Extra bonus?  You’re going to be someone else’s hero when they get to school with a dead battery.  Go ahead and upgrade and get the extra long charger (you’ll thank me later).

Something stupid that makes you happy

I’m pretty sure teachers spend more waking hours at school than at home.  It’s definitely true at the beginning of the school year.  It’s not your home away from home-it is your home.  Several years ago I splurged on this chair from World Market and never regretted it.  It was cute, super comfortable, and reminded me of the good old days when teachers got real chairs.  (Anybody else fighting for a plastic chair that is padded and rolls?  It’s the holy grail of elementary school.)
As much as I love this chair, I can’t find any decent pictures of it, and World Market no longer sells it.

I’m not saying buy a chair, but if there is something that’s been in the back of your mind, just do it.  You spend a ton of time in your room.  Make it your happy place.

HP Insta Ink

The best invention EVER.  All of us have been there-printing something late at night (or in the morning) for school, and you run out of ink.  The Worst.  This might cost a little more at first, but if you wait until you need to buy ink, it almost pays for itself.  I bought mine when I needed new color and black ink cartridges.  I spent about $100 on a new printer instead of $70 on ink.  It’s even cheaper on Amazon now.

How does it work?  You sign up for HP Insta Ink and pick your plan.  Your printer is synced with your HP Insta Ink account.  When you start to get low-ish, HP sends you more ink before you even need it.

I have the $4.99 plan for 100 pages a month.  It doesn’t matter if your print in black or color.  You could print 100 pages of borderless, full page color, and you aren’t charged any extra.  If you go over your plan, they just charge you whatever your per page price is plus a penny.  For $60 a year, I never run out of ink and (more importantly) never have to call a neighbor at 10:00 at night so one of my kids can print a school project.

{Sign up here and get a free month.  At least I think so.  That’s what my HP account said would happen if I shared this link.  Let me know if it doesn’t work.}

I hope you have a great back to school season! What are your favorite sanity saving tips?

**This post contains affiliate links.**


  1. I LOVE THIS! Especially about saying NO! I tend to always say YES, which ends up taking up so much of my time at home that I could be spending with my family. On another note, I just wrote a blog a few minutes ago about one of the MUST DO's for going back to school- making Substitute Packets for those days when you have to be absent with little to no notice! It is definitely a sanity saver to me!

    Follow me @ Life As I Know It

    1. There’s nothing worse than being sick or having a sick kiddo and having to deal with lesson plans!!

  2. LOVE this! Thanks so much for this blog post. I needed to hear this as we are only in 4 weeks and I'm already swamped...and have a few emails in the inbox that I need to say "no" to. :)

    1. You definitely need to! Once you get started it gets easier every time!