With a new school year rapidly approaching, you probably have a million and one things running through your mind, and it's no wonder as to why! Luckily, we can help you prepare. Check out eight important things that teachers should have on their back to school to-do lists.
Back to School
Whether you're a first-year teacher or a seasoned vet, you might be feeling overwhelmed with everything you have to accomplish in the next couple of weeks. Getting prepared for a brand new school year can certainly be stressful, but sometimes a little guidance goes a long way, even for teachers! Having said that, be sure to keep the following tasks in mind while you create your back to school to-do list.
1. Gather All Supplies
One of the first things teachers should do is obtain all necessary supplies for the upcoming school year. This includes items that your district covers as well as essential supplies that you'll be responsible for purchasing. You don't want to wait until the last minute because important school supplies may potentially be sold out or backordered, which could possibly end up setting you behind in your classroom set-up or lesson plans (not a good way to kick off the school year!).
2. Refresh Your Wardrobe
Before you head back to school, you might want to take a look at your teaching wardrobe to see if it could use a little refreshment. If so, try to pick up some fashionable, comfy outfits that still allow you to maintain your professional image while working. Even though new clothing really has nothing to do with actual school, it can go a long way towards making teachers feel confident and put together. Students notice this!
3. Update Lesson Plans
If you taught last year, you probably have an abundance of lesson plans that are ready to be reused. Prior to a new school year beginning, however, you should make it a point to go through them and make sure they're still on par with the latest teaching standards and techniques. If something can be updated or taught a different way (e.g., using technology in class), you can make adjustments so that the lesson plan is all ready to go when needed.
4. Set Professional Goals
Teachers can benefit greatly from setting goals before they go back to school. Whether the goals focus on completing professional development, getting to school earlier in the morning or implementing an engaging new teaching strategy for mathematics, they can definitely help to keep you challenged and focused in your profession. Also, did we mention that it feels really good when you reach a goal?
5. Establish Classroom Procedures and Rules
Classroom management might be one of the trickiest aspects of teaching, and not all teachers manage their classrooms the same (and that's okay!). Before you head back to school in the fall, you may want to take some time to evaluate last year's rules and procedures and make changes where you see fit. Don't forget to consider things like discipline and parent communication while you create your classroom management strategy.
6. Send Out an Introduction Letter
First impressions are everything, and this couldn't be truer for teachers. A couple of weeks before you head back to school, you can send out an introduction letter that lets parents know a little about you and how you run your classroom. In your letter, be sure to include things like needed school supplies, preferred communication methods, and student expectations so that everybody is prepared when school starts.
7. Organize Your Classroom
Perhaps one of the biggest jobs of the back to school season is getting your classroom organized, and it's good to keep in mind that this can't happen overnight. To avoid feeling rushed, it's wise to get into your classroom well before school begins to start organizing, creating seating arrangements, decorating and cleaning. You'll feel very accomplished when your students enter a fully prepared classroom on day one!
8. Get Your Technology in Place
If you're planning to integrate more technology into your teaching, it's best to get everything in place before you head back to school. For example, if your school is providing tablets for your students, those should be set up and ready to go as soon as they step foot into your classroom. Or, if you're planning to supplement your teaching with online learning resources, your subscriptions should be in place, and you should be familiar with how they work so you can get rolling immediately.
Make Your List, Check It Twice
After reading through this post, teachers everywhere should feel ready to conquer their back to school to-do lists. Although we can't possibly cover everything that needs to be done, this should provide a solid starting point.
Could your teaching use a little revamping? Do you want your students to be engaged, interested learners? Look no further than Study.com's Teacher Plan!