Written by Casey Boehm, OEA First Grade Teacher
Summer means free time and warm weather, but when you’re a teacher school to-dos and tasks can easily sneak back into your mind.
The summer months are a much needed time to rest and recharge – and you should do just that! But if you want to start preparing for next school year (and the unknowns that come with it), there are small steps you can take for a much easier back to school season.
Check out these three important tips on how you can relax and feel prepared for the upcoming school year:
1. Start to prep for August now!
This tip may sound daunting, but I promise it’s not. Each year I make myself a folder or bag of materials just for back to school – trust me, it will be a gift to yourself once August rolls around.
My “back to school bag” has items like the papers that I’ve sent home at open house, beginning of the year forms, and my first week of school activities.
When August rolls around and you can finally get back into your classroom, you can focus on getting it set up properly, labeling items with a new class list, and a million other things. When you pull out your bag of items you can quickly make copies and have a reminder of what you have sent home in the past; it is a huge time saver!
2. Keep an open mind about online learning.
Fall 2020 is full of unknowns and it will likely look and feel a lot different than past school years. Over the summer months, remember to be patient with your district and state and focus on what you can control, like getting more familiar with online learning.
One way you can learn and grow your comfort level with online learning is to join a Facebook group that relates to the Learning Management System (Google Classroom™, Canvas, etc.) your school uses, or a group that matches your grade level. Facebook groups are a great space to share resources and ask questions with other educators. It’s a good idea to join a few and find the one that best fits your needs; not all Facebook groups are created equal. NEA has a group all about navigating the changes in education. (If you are an early career educator in Ohio, be sure to check out the ONE Connects group.)
3. Rest and relax!
Easier said than done, I know. Summer goes by so quickly. Be sure you make the most of it and try not to stress out about the fall. When I am feeling overcome with thoughts and to-dos, I make a list. I write down all the things on my mind – the things I am worried about for next school year, the lessons I want to teach, the things I want to do this summer, etc. Once my thoughts are collected, I have an easier time relaxing. Just remember, all of these things are important, but don’t let them take up the summer!
After you write down your stressors and are feeling good, take some time for yourself and unwind. There are thousands of ways you can relax, but some of my favorites are evening walks with friends, bonfires, reading by the pool, and traveling! Be sure to leave a comment with your favorite way to relax over the summer!
Be sure to make the most of your summer by following these tips, so you are prepared for the best back to school!
Casey Boehm is a first-grade teacher in northwest Ohio. Casey is passionate about using technology in the classroom and sharing ideas for organization. Find her on social media @OrganizeandEducate