As a teacher, the back-to-school season can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. There's so much to do, and you want to make sure you're prepared for everything that might come your way. This is why we've put together a list of back-to-school planning tips that every teacher needs. From setting classroom goals to creating a lesson plan template, we've got you covered! Keep reading for all the details!
Plan ahead. Use the previous year's records to help plan instead of starting afresh again. You can make some adjustments to the new calendar where required. For example, lesson plans of the previous year can be adjusted and used in the coming year. Additionally, make copies of the school calendar and schedule around the district events for the year. Noting down the dates of these events will help to better plan your school year, and ensure you don't miss any important events either!
Be in contact.
As a teacher, it is important to build a trustworthy relationships with your students' parents so they trust that you have the best interests of their children in mind. You should always be in contact with them early by reaching them via emails, phone calls, visits, or alerting them of the new years' requirements. Weekly class notes and newsletters are also avenues from which you can reach out to parents and promote open communication during the school year.
Set the tone for your students.
The first days or weeks of the year set the tone for the year. Bearing in mind that the teacher's tone is a powerful instrument, a teacher needs to know when to use a commanding voice or a friendly voice to improve behavior and rapport with the students both in and outside the classroom. It can be easy for a teacher to lose respect from the students if they are too authoritative. Be friendly with the students even where you have to instill discipline in some of them. It is essential for a teacher to utilize the first few weeks to create a rapport with their students that sets the mood for learning for the year.
Get to school earlier than your students.
Preparation is a very important aspect of teaching. Teachers don't just wake up and work as some people may think. It takes a lot of time for you to prepare and start working. The first day the students get to school should not be the first for the teacher. There is a lot of time needed to prepare the classroom and instructional materials, such as welcome materials and lesson plans. If you want to have a smooth year, then take time and prepare early. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for a rough start to your year. For new teachers, it can take a longer time to prepare than those who have been teaching for quite some time. Take the time to get prepared well before school starts.
Set objectives and goals.
Setting objectives is done by setting your goals for the year. Setting personal goals would help you as the teacher to improve the class experience. Giving yourself goals means you will have something to work towards. You should also have objectives for your students, and what you want them to achieve by the end of the year. Involve your students in setting their goals, as a shared set of goals pushes the teacher and the students to work together. Most importantly, keep your objectives top of mind daily!
Get to know your students.
Take a look at the previous assessment records of your class. If you have not met your students before, get in touch with their previous teachers to know the personalities in your class. Their previous teachers are in a good position to advise on methods that are best for the motivation of your new students.
You should set a seating plan that enables you to get to know your students easily. Be firm, and be the one to make the final decision with your seating plan, as some students may protest when separated from their friends. You can adjust a seating plan later if the combinations are not working as expected.
Every day will be different, and they may not all be the best of days. You could have a very tight schedule in school, the most notorious of classes, or even be teaching the class with the lowest grades, but you should try your best not to let this discourage you. It will help to do your best to start with positivity and excitement when going into the new year. Remain focused and positive on a daily basis and those around you will feed on your positivity.
Welcome Your Students.
Ensure that the students feel welcome in your class and at school. Welcoming students can be done even before setting their feet in the classrooms. Send them a special note to their home the week before school starts. Or, take the time to make them a special welcome gift. Greet every student with a smile and let them know how you are excited to have them in your class. Take them through your expectations and let them know that it will be a great year.
Make your mental health a priority with a Teachers Care Crate.
The August 'Choose Kindness' crate is an amazing collaboration with Callie Danielle! As you get ready for back-to-school remember this: in a world where you can teach them anything -teach them to be kind! Teacher Care Crate is the best teacher self-care subscription box, curated with the teacher in mind! It’s your reminder to practice self-care, because teachers need rest, relaxation, and pampering too!
Following these simple back to school planning tips will make it easy for you to ease back into the spirit of teaching this fall. Remember to pace yourself, and make your self-care a priority this new year, and you will be able to give your best to your students. With so much to do, you will be sure to be prepared for everything that might come your way!