A National Board Certified Teacher shares tips, tricks and time-tested advice to help you get ready for back to school.
This Best EVER! collection is a must for first year teachers, but veteran teachers will enjoy it, too. I sincerely hope that these tips ease your worries as you face back-to-school stresses.
How to Set Up Your Classroom
Part One: Facing an Empty Room: this will help you get started on that terrifying first day you see your new classroom.
Part Two: Cover the Bulletin Boards: there’s more to it than you think, and this post will help you slap something respectable up so you can get back to work on more important things.
Part Three: Decorate the Walls: whether you have supplies or have to beg, borrow or steal (just kidding!), this post will help you cover those institutional cinderblock walls.
Part Four: Basic Management Systems: from managing your pencil supply to organizing work turn-in, this post will help you get the bare-bones systems in place.
Meet the Teacher Night/Open House
How to Organize Supplies from Meet the Teacher Night: if you can only read one post, make it this one! Learn how to save HOURS and HOURS by setting up your classroom so families can organize the back-to-school supplies.
Meet the Teacher Night: A Guide for Families: learn how to get the most out of back to school night.
Have kids sort the community school supplies: a fun time-sponge (soaks up time) activity that helps you organize the classroom and build community! A great way to deal with those Meet the Teacher Night supplies.
The First Day of School
A Sample First Day of School Letter Home: feel free to use the whole thing if you like! This sample letter will save you time so you can get back to setting up your classroom and planning a fun first day.
How to plan for the first day of school: the first day of school is a day like no other. Learn how to plan well so that the rest of your year goes smoothly.
The New Teacher’s Complete Sourcebook: this Scholastic Professional Book is very, very helpful to first-year teachers. You will especially like the minute-by-minute schedule for the first day of school. There is a unique schedule for each grade, K-4. I was incredibly glad to have this book!
Give kids a snack on the first day of school: this tip helps you break the ice, practice birthday treat protocol and ingratiate yourself with your students!
Don’t forget to TEACH on the first day of school: here is some good advice on how to inject some academics into the first day of school. Students, parents and administrators will appreciate your effort!
Throw Down a Challenge the First Week of School: coordinating nicely with Don’t Forget to TEACH on the First Day of School, this post tells you how to give your students a motivating challenge that builds academic skills, confidence and community.
A typical elementary school day schedule: this is really helpful for first year teachers. Get a sense of how a typical day is scheduled. Also helpful for parents who want a sense of what their child does at school.
Greeting Visitors Procedure: teach your students this charming greeting that also functions as a “principal’s here” alarm bell. Practicing this on the first day of school is super fun and can soak up half an hour, easy!
Set up class jobs right away! Years of experience tells me this is the BEST way to do classroom jobs. It’s really easy for you, and setting up the jobs on the first day gets kids into the swing of things. This activity soaks up half an hour or more!
First Week of School: Learn the Names Challenge: are you worried about learning all your students’ names by the end of the first week? Well, if you use this tip, the kids REALLY won’t care whether you know their names or not! They’ll be rooting for you to make a few mistakes!