Happy Summer Vacation! Sweet teacher friends, I hope that your Summer break has been filled with joy, peace, and reset. I have been cleaning and organizing my home office. This was quite the task. I have also been able to spend time with my family in South Florida. As my break comes to a close, I thought of things that I can do right now that will help me transition to back to school with greater ease. I want to share 10 helpful things to jumpstart your school year.
I’m heading back to school in a few weeks, and I’ll tell you that I did not touch one school-related item this Summer. This was my time off and I used it as such. But, now that my break is winding down, I realize that there are a lot of checklist items that will pile up if I don’t get started now. And as you know, getting those to-do’s done during the Summer is so much less stressful than when we wait until Pre-Planning. Here are the 10 helpful things to do to jumpstart your school year that are on my “Do It Right Now List”.
Prep and Print Your Welcome Letter
Look over your letter, if you already have one created, and see if it still reflects information that you want your families to know. Any changes needed? Did you shift your homework or grading practices? Moving from behavior sheets to using an app? Can families send in food items for birthdays? Think of any information that will help make the home-school connection even more seamless.
Prepare Your Papers and Forms for Meet the Teacher
- sign-in sheet
- transportation from school on the first day
- transportation from school for the entire year
- Parent/guardian contact information- best phone number, email address….
- Student health needs and information form- allergies, medications, strengths, skills to work on, likes….
- About Your Teacher- Think of what you would like your new families to know about you.
- At-Home or In-Person volunteering opportunities
- Prepare signs for stations (if you are using them) and/or directions or procedures for the event.
- Here is one of the Meet the Teacher resources that I’ve used for the past few years. It’s an editable freebie that you can tailor to your needs.
Create Your Wish List for School Supplies
Sit back with a cool drink of choice and think of any supplies or “extras” that weren’t on your supply list, but that would be really nice to have. I usually put items like card stock on mine. This might be a great time to request your favorite pens or pencils. Are you Team Gel Pens or Team Flairs? Or, are there new pens that I need to know about? If so, please share in the Comments.
Laminate Name Tags
This tip depends on whether or not you are Team Laminate then use a Sharpie or Team Use a Sharpie or Type Them and then Laminate. For me, it just depends on the year. Last year, I printed all of the name tags after I received my student list and then laminated them. This year, I plan to use store-bought name tags. I’ll laminate them first and then write their names with a permanent marker. At least, that’s how I am feeling as I type this. I might change my mind. 😉
Order or Purchase Items for Student Organization
I forgot that I used most of the magnets that I had for lunch choices this past year. So, I bought more. I use square magnet tiles that you can write on. I write my students’ names on them and have them move their name under the lunch choice that they want. It’s a super easy way for me to manage lunch choice in the mornings. Then, I choose a student to count the choices and report them to me. It gives my students a classroom helper job that they can do with ease, and they often remind me to put in the lunch choice for the day because of it. It’s a win-win!
Think of items like:
- name tags for the first few days/weeks of school
- manilla envelopes for sending paper work home
- little boxes for crayons
Setup Home-School Communication Folders
This is one of the 10 helpful things to do to jumpstart your school year that is very personal for each teacher. Will you include a daily agenda, behavior and academic performance sheet, and/or practice page? Or, have you decided to communicate with families electronically this year? I think that I will return to using a 1″ 3-ringed binder. This is something that we did school wide and then stopped due to the cost of purchasing the pre-printed student agendas. They were the best! That system was uniform, efficient, and easy to implement.
Refresh Items for Your Board
These might include subject header labels, for example. This is something that I actually need to do today. I forgot that I threw mine away on the last day of school. I had those learning target posters for the last 50 years and I was just tired of looking at them. However, this means that I have to create new ones. LOL. The teacher supply store didn’t have any. They didn’t even have a poster that I could cut apart and use. Also, think about your calendar, lunch choice, and focus wall. Do these areas needed to be refreshed?
Create and Share Your Amazon Wish List
Print or Prep Labels for Student Journals
I create labels that I print on sticker paper. This is actually super easy and very convenient. My biggest teacher tips for this are (1) be sure that you leave a little space on the edges so that you can peel the paper off with ease and 2) print on the “paper” portion of the sticker.
Here’s a post I created on what to do when families provide all black and white Composition Notebooks. Previously, I was always able to ask families for different colored journals. Let me tell you, this was THE BEST thing ever. You could easily tell young learners to get their yellow journal.
In recent years, we were forbidden from doing this. Admin. told us that it adds extra pressure for families. Of course, I would never try to make anyone’s experience stressful. However, the different colored notebooks are actually side-by-side in the stores. Would you please grab a green one while you are there? Okay, I will try to understand (but it doesn’t mean that I have to like it). 😂
This is the premiere tip of all!
Rest. Relax. Unwind. Have fun! This is your time. Do any and everything that brings you joy!
Okay, here’s a bonus tip that you may not have thought of. Check your teacher bag for the remnants of last school year. What things can you file away or throw away. This is a brand new year full of new beginnings and fresh starts. Empty out that bag! Or, if it’s worn or doesn’t carry your favorite memories, get a new one.
Don’t forget about your lunch bag. Did you forget to empty it out on the last day of school? Needs a good washing? Time to get a new one?
Bonus Tip #2
This tip just crossed my mind. Did you empty your Small Group Binder before you left for the Summer? Shred or remove pages from this past year. Replenish your forms. Buy new dividers, if you need them. Make sure that you have a supply of Post-It Notes (if you need them for your pages) ready.
Okay, that’s it. No more tips. LOL.
I hope that you found these 10 helpful things to do to jumpstart your school year to be beneficial and easy to do!
Leave a comment to let me know if these ideas were helpful. Feel free to share any that you thought of.
Enjoy the rest of your break!