teaching: Keeping in Touch with Friends During the School Year

August 14, 2015

During my first year of teaching, I felt like I was in a tunnel of loneliness. I was drowning in my own paper work, trying to maintain order in my classroom, and ignoring my nutritional and social needs at home. Over my last few years settling into teaching, I've realized that there are some pretty effective ways to maintain the friendships that keep me going. Here are my top five strategies to make time for my friends.

1. Trivia. Many restaurants run trivia through services like Trivia Mafia or Sporcle. Get a group together, and meet once a week to chat, snack, and compete.

2. Exercise. Make plans to exercise with someone close by that you want to see regularly. I attend a weekly yoga class with one of my best friends, and it's a great way to get necessary exercise and catch up with her.

3. Book Club. I love to read, and so do many of my friends. My book club meets every month, and so far, that schedule has been lovely. I get to read something besides student essays, have meaningful discussions of books, and see old friends.

4. Work Date. When I need to spend an afternoon grading, I call up my friends that like coffee, or have writing or projects of their own to complete. We hit up a coffee shop in the area, drink good coffee, and distract each other from the task at hand.

5. Weekly Dinner. My husband and I often scrounge for dinners- we'll eat what's around the house without blinking an eye. But at least once a work week we sit down to eat dinner together, talk about our budget, and just unplug from our phones and Netflix.

Definitely make plans with friends a part of your routine, and allow your meetings to multitask as opportunities to do things that matter to you.

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