Summer is fast coming to a close, and the first bell of a new school year isn't far off. This is a time of year when many teachers have mixed feelings: the excitement of a new school year combines with the bittersweet end to another summer. It can be hard to get yourself in gear for the start of the school year after slowing down to enjoy summer vacation. But by pacing yourself and getting organized, you can be on top of your game and ready to begin anew. Here are a few tips to get yourself ready for the first day of school.
Make a Plan
Getting everything in order for going back to school can seem overwhelming. Making a plan will help you break this seemingly impossible task down into more manageable bite-size parts, and hopefully lessen the degree of difficulty.
There are two parts to the plan that you should incorporate. The first is writing down all of the tasks you need to do. This includes everything from lesson planning, meetings, getting school supplies, setting up your classroom, and various paperwork. The second is the timeline. Taken all together, these tasks look like a lot, but there's no need for you to do them all at the same time. Mark them down on a calender and set a manageable pace at which you can accomplish them. You might want to increase this pace as the school year gets closer to help get you back into the swing of things.
Make it Fun
Does the idea of planning and making a timeline fill you with dread? There's no need for it to do so, as there are plenty of ways that back to school preparations can be made fun. Take your lesson planning to a place you enjoy such as a local park or coffee shop. Meet a fellow teacher friend to talk about the upcoming school year and work on things together. Work on new classroom materials while watching a movie or listening to music. With a little creativity, preparations can be fun.
Get Students Involved
The look on an excited returning student's face can be enough to make any teacher's day. If students have pre-school year events at school, make a point of seeing them and welcoming them back to school. This shows the students you care about them, and can help get you excited too. You might also consider asking students if they want to help you prepare your classroom for the new year, in exchange for pizza or ice cream. Getting students involved in the process is a great way to encourage them to engage themselves in the classroom and will foster an enthusiastic environment in the classroom.
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