Back to School Tips and Resources for Teachers
It’s Back to School time and I’ve got some great tips and resources just for teachers to help reduce the anxiety and anticipation and start the school year off right!
Back to School Tips for Teachers
Back to School Checklist
Create, or download, a back to school checklist. This will help you stay on top of essential tasks and ensure that you get each job done. Ticking off each task as it is completed also helps give you a sense of completion.
Setting up your Classroom
The organisation of your classroom directly affects how students behave and learn. It sends a message to the students, parents and anyone who enters your classroom. Through furniture, books, desk placement, learning stations and general organisation you can communicate the values and ‘tone’ for your class.
Classroom furniture should be arranged according to your teaching style. I like to place my desk in direct line of the classroom door so that visitors cause as little disruption to my class as possible. I also like to place it near the technology points, so that I can easily hook up my computer. Next, I set up the storage for my teacher essentials, including textbooks, program folders, resources, lanyards, stationary etc. Next, I like to organise the storage for student resources, including bookshelves, the calm space and tub drawers. Finally, I organise the student desks. Desks can be arranged into traditional rows, cooperative clusters, or a horseshoe shape. You can read more about Desk Organisation and Equipment Organisation in these blog posts.
Organise your Supplies and Materials
Once you’ve set up the furniture and equipment, the next step is to access what supplies and materials you already have, and what you will need. If you’re new to the school, stage or class, speak with your administration or team members to see what supplies you will be given. Take advantage of anything you can get for free, and that other teachers are not in need of. It’s also a good idea to see what you can get from family and friends, as well as local businesses, that they no longer need. I once scored a pile of board games from a family friend who was doing a big cleanout. I also get a stack of expired travel magazines from our travel agent to use during writing lessons, art etc.
Make it Pretty!
Once your furniture is in place, and you’ve organised all your supplies and materials, it’s time to make the room pretty! Organise and dress the bulletin boards, print, laminate and stick up relevant posters, label all your storage and resources and add your personal touches and flair!
I’m not a big fan of plastering the walls, roof and floors with decorations. My special ed background has taught me that this can be overwhelming for some children, even those without disabilities. My motto – keep it simple and relevant. If you aren’t going to refer to it during the learning, and it doesn’t serve a learning purpose, then do away with it.
Organise Parent Communication
It is important to introduce yourself to the parents of your students – even if you’ve been around the school for years. Create a “Get to Know the Teacher” page where you provide some fun and important information about yourself. Then you can include a list of supplies needed, what the kids can expect during the first days of school, important school policies, classroom rules, and a curriculum overview. Most importantly, detail how you will be communicating with parents, and how they can communicate with you.
If you use an app-based communication system, such as SeeSaw, then this is the time to set it up and check it works. You can also organise other technology tools such as Google Classrooms, check student emails and passwords to ensure minimal hassles in those first few weeks.
Create your Classroom Procedures, Expectations and Routines
By doing this before the students enter the classroom, you will be prepared to create a consistent and well-managed classroom from the start! Take the time to consider a workable routine and organise transitions. Read more about the importance of establishing routines and procedures here.
But before you create and dictate a set of rules, take the first few days and work with your students in creating a list of rules, rewards and consequences so that they take ownership of individual and group behaviours, and establish a sense of community.
Back to School Resources for Teachers
Having some ready-to-print resources as well as fun, engaging activities for students to do when they come through the door each day in the first week is really important to start the year off smoothly. I’ve teamed up with 12 other amazing Australian and New Zealand sellers to offer you an amazing bundle of 13 Back to School Resources!!! Click the link below and signup – it’s that simple. Within minutes you’ll have access to 13, never before seen resources.
Teachers, how do you prepare for the school year?
Do you have any tips that you would like to share?
Feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear your ideas.