It’s that time of year again! The kids are getting ready to go back to school, and teachers are preparing for the new school year. This can be a very exciting time, yet it can also be a bit stressful. But making these 5 teacher must-dos a priority will make your Back to School season a little easier.
Teacher Must-D0 #1: The Magic of the Welcome Postcard!
Make Your students feel welcome with a postcard or letter that you send out about a week before school starts. Write a little note letting them know you can’t wait to meet them and that you’re excited for the upcoming year.
They will be so excited to have gotten mail from their teacher, making them feel important and wanted. And, they will feel more at ease when they first meet you. This little gesture goes a long way as the first step in building positive relationships with your students!
Teacher Must-Do #2: Have a Behavior Management Plan in Place
It is so important to have a behavior management plan in place from the beginning of the year. This will help you to be consistent with your expectations and consequences from the start. Having a plan will also help you to avoid power struggles with students.
Not only will you need to have 3-5 primary rules in place, but also a step-by-step plan for classroom procedures. Yes, procedures may seem dull, but having clear procedures in place will make your year run so much smoother! Students need to know what is expected of them in every situation. From how to enter the classroom, to sharpen a pencil, to putting away materials- having procedures for everything will save you time and energy in the long run.
Teacher Must-Do #3: Have a Sub Tub Set Up and Ready to Go
This is one of those things that you hope you never have to use but are so glad to have when you need it! Having a sub tub set up and ready to go will give you peace of mind knowing that your students will be taken care of in your absence.
Include everything that a substitute would need to know about your classroom, including your behavior management plan, daily schedule, and procedures. You can also include activities or lessons for the sub to use in case of an emergency. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Teacher Must-Do #4: Prepare Meaningful Time Fillers – Purposeful Ideas for Early Finishers
We’ve all been there- a student finishes their work early and then proceeds to bother the other students or cause a disruption in the classroom.
Instead of struggling with what to do with those early finishers, have some meaningful time fillers prepared ahead of time! This could include puzzles, brain teasers, logic problems, or any other activity that is purposeful, quiet, and engaging.
For example, I like having a set of fun seasonal math and ELA printables on hand. This way, students are still learning and engaged even when they finish their work early. Having a few of these activities on hand will save you from having to come up with something on the spot, and your students will be happily engaged in learning!
Teacher Must-Do #5: Set Up Centers for Small-group Instruction
If you are planning on using centers in your classroom this year, now is the time to start setting them up! Having everything set up and ready to go will save you so much time and stress when it comes time to actually use them.
Think about what types of centers you would like to use in your classroom. Do you want literacy centers? Math centers? Science and social studies centers? How many students will be in each center group? What materials will you need for each center?
Answering all of these questions ahead of time will make setting up and using your centers a breeze!
I hope these tips have helped to get you started on planning for a successful year! They are the first plans you will need to make ahead of time in order to have a smooth and successful start to the year.
Yet, there are still so many other things that must be done in order for you to be ready that first day, from organizing your classroom to getting your materials ready. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered there too! You can download our editable Back to School To-Do Checklist for free by clicking HERE.
Just remember to take some time for yourself, too. Relax and enjoy the last few weeks of summer break! You’ve got this!
Do you have any tips for getting started with back to school planning? I would love to hear them in the comments below! Until next time, happy teaching!
This article originally appeared at Primary Teachspiration.