For teachers, back to school is an exciting time as you gear up for the year with new and eager students. Back to school is also an important opportunity to make a great first impression with your students and set the tone for the entire year. Start the school year off on the right foot with these tips for teachers preparing to go back to school.
Make a checklist
Between shopping for supplies, preparing assignments and deciding lesson plans, teachers must remember many things before the first day of school. A checklist is a great tool to help you stay organized and avoid forgetting essential items for day one. A checklist is also extremely useful to keep track of certain tasks you need to complete, too.
Iron-out lesson plans for the first month
Most teachers know they have to review their lesson plans for the first day of school, but not everyone looks over their schedule for the rest of the month. The first days back can be busy and a bit chaotic, and some teachers might sense they’re scrambling to prepare. Take some extra time before the first day of school to reassess everything you’ve planned out for the entire month. That way, you’ll feel more prepared until the classroom calms down and falls into a regular routine.
Make your classroom accessible to parents
Parents want to stay connected to their child’s education by learning about schedules and lesson plans, or how they are adapting to the new year. Fortunately, in this day and age of technology, being accessible to parents is easy. Before the school year starts, draft a welcome letter introducing you to parents and letting them know the best way to stay connected. You can also create a classroom web page for posting general updates that helps keep parents in the loop.
Determine appropriate policies and procedures
Your classroom can be a fun and interesting place for students, but there still has to be some ground rules. Think through a system for students to follow that dictates how their homework and classroom activities should be accomplished, and any potential ramifications for unruly behavior. Additionally, brainstorm ways to help students stay motivated. Maybe reward them when overcoming obstacles or achieving a difficult task.
Create a welcoming environment
Before school starts, teachers should take time to set up their classroom. Throughout the upcoming year, your classroom is going to be the place where you spend a significant amount of time. As a result, you want to be sure that school is not only a place where students are able to learn, but also where they are comfortable and content. Stopping by early to set up the classroom gives you an opportunity to arrange student desks according to your teaching style, pick a perfect spot for your desk, and organize other special spaces you might need throughout the year.
Set goals for the new year
In addition to setting goals for your students, teachers should prepare for the school year by creating a list of personal goals. You can start by reflecting on the previous year and identify areas for improvement, as well as pinpointing things that went really well to continue in the future. Reflecting over the past year will help you grow and evolve as a teacher with new approaches to your teaching style. Furthermore, setting goals will keep you motivated throughout the year to teach at your highest potential.
Following these pointers before the new school year starts will help ensure you are fully prepared for back to school.