A Handy Back-to-School Checklist for Teacher Moms

Teacher Mom: a mother who raises, not only her own children, but thousands of other children.

For many of us, the first official day back to school is the day after Labor Day.  While some moms may be secretly cheering, others are openly bawling.  For most of us, we’re feeling that awkward mix of excitement to meet our new students twinged with guilt over missing our own kids.

To those moms in particular, here’s a handy checklist you can reference in these final days of preparation.  At the very least, you deserve a little chuckle.  Enjoy.

Cut along the dotted line

The Teacher Mom’s Back-to-School Checklist

______ : Post-it notes.  You better write shit down because there’s no way you’re going to remember.  Plus, being able to physically cross off an item on your to-do list is catharsis at its finest (I even write things down I’ve already done just so I can cross it off.  If that’s not neurotic, I don’t know what is).


______: NICE pens.  For God’s sake, you’re a teacher.  AND a working mom.  There have to be some perks.  Make pens one of them.  Don’t you dare grab a 20-pack of Bic Ballpoint blue pens out of the 99 cent bin.  You are worth more, my friend.



______: Sub Plans.  You KNOW you’re going to get that call from the daycare at the most inopportune time of the day.  You better be ready with some random shit for your kids to do until you can return and pull it back together.



______ : Meds.  For you.  Lord knows, you don’t have time to be sick (see previous item on list).     


______: Back-up alarm clock.  Over the summer, there’s a fair chance your kiddos were the wake-up alarm.  Now you have to wake up in the pitch dark, get your groggy self ready, then wake up your unsuspecting children and attempt to get them moving and out the door in an unreasonably short amount of time, all while assuring them that everyone is going to have a “great day!”


______: Kleenex.  For you.  Tiger mom or not, after seeing your toddler scream like she’s being tortured as the daycare provider takes her from your arms, there’s a fair chance you’ll be shedding a few tears of your own privately in the car.


______: Caffeine.  Coffee.  Pop.  Pick your poison.  Healthy or not, I cannot function without my “it’s-almost-time-to-pick-up-my-kids” 3:00 pm cup of coffee.



______: Crock pot. Time to dust it off, ladies.  I don’t care if you’re cooking challenged or not; anyone can throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and let it cook all day.  When you walk into the door with screaming kids in tow, the smell of a meal already complete may very well bring tears to your eyes (granted it’s not the smoke from the meal you’ve effectively burnt to a crisp).

ninacoco / Foter / CC BY


______: Takeout menus.  Keep ’em in your desk drawer at school (next to those handy sub plans) or put ’em on speed dial.  Either way, there will be days you forgot to turn the crock pot on.  Or sometimes, you just want a slice of pizza, and you’re a working mom, so you do what you want!

pirate johnny / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

______ : Cases of Wine. It is imperative you stock up on your spirits of choice for those evenings after the kids are finally asleep.  You certainly won’t have time to make a run mid-week, and a tired Mommy without wine is a scary beast!


______: Trip to Costco.  It’s time to stock up on cases of Cheez-its, Applesauce-to-go, granola bars, and pretzels because back-to-school means back-to-making lunches and snacks every night for you and the rest of the household.

Photo credit: commons.wikimedia.org

______: More time.  If you dare to open Pandora’s Box and snatch the magical elixir, do share.

Photo credits: commons.wikimedia.org

______: Sense of Humor.  Seriously.  Without this, you’re screwed.



______ : Additional items.  Please add in the comments below.  I surely missed some essential items!


Here’s to a wonderful school year, ladies!

A version of this post appears on Sammiches and Psych Meds.

~Chaos Contemplated (for now)

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8 thoughts on “A Handy Back-to-School Checklist for Teacher Moms

  1. Ah yes… You must also have a supply of high quality Polymer erasers. You know, the white kind, cause those pink ones just don’t cut it and we all make tons of mistakes! It’s part of learning. Have a fabulous year! I am!


    • Excellent addition! You are quite right. Just last week when I was setting up my classroom, I was cursing (openly because my students weren’t there, so why not) about the eraser I was using that WASN’T working.

      A fabulous year to you too!


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