Summer break is winding down. Your mind is becoming consumed with thoughts about heading back to school. For some, it’s an easy transition, but for others, it’s a shock to the system. As the calendar flips to August, get yourself refocused on lesson plans, gathering materials, and preparing for your first days back to school. These ideas are meant to help make your job a little less stressful.
Here are five ways to ease back into school:
- Take little steps. Don’t try and do everything at once. Create a timeline of things you need to do before school begins and list the things you want or need. Plotting them on the timeline will help alleviate the feeling many get of being overwhelmed.
- Make the first steps fun. Whatever you choose to do first, make it as fun as possible. Doing the easier things first, like creating classroom decorations and posters will remind you how much you love teaching and make the tougher items easier. Do more mundane things like unit planning or curriculum development at a café, park, or any place that offers distractions with good food and coffee.
- Find a friend. Working with a colleague can make the tasks more enjoyable while cutting the work time in half.
- Connect with kids. Interact with past or present students. Send out emails to new students welcoming them, and see if any previous students would like to help you get your classroom together. Seeing students will bring you joy and remind you why you went into teaching.
- Organize your mind. The attitude brought into the new school year can often dictate how that year will go. Educators need to find thoughts that energize, empower and affirm all the good things that lie ahead.
Still have trepidation about that first day back?
Education blogger Rebecca Alber offers these ideas for back to school prep:
- Be rested, relaxed and ready – it will help the kids stay calm and focused.
- Be organized and tidy – students will be impressed.
- Have too much and too many of everything – there is nothing worse than being short on name tags or pens and pencils.
- Over plan the lesson – make sure the lessons fill the time and don’t leave you scrambling to fill before lunch or recess.
- Rehearse – practice your welcome back speech, check the pacing and if you are using technology arrive early to make sure it is in place and working.
- Be ready for anything and everything – make sure a first aid kit ready, have the dean or assistant principal’s phone extension and have rules in place to handle any unexpected situations.
- Start learning names immediately – this helps you connect to students quicker and shows them you are interested and care.