It’s almost that time of year again! In stores, beach balls and pool noodles have been replaced with notebook paper and pencil cases. Families are squeezing in that last summer vacation. Teachers are starting to think about their incoming group of students.
It’s back to school time!
For teachers, back-to-school season is the most pivotal time of the school year. The tone of the entire school year often rests on the success or failure of those first weeks back in the classroom.
In order to set the year off on the right foot, teachers can benefit greatly from considering some of these helpful back-to-school tips.
Set Up Procedures
Students are nervous at the start of a new school year! What do I do if I have to sharpen my pencil? What do I do if I have to use the restroom? What do I do when I’m done with my paper?
Every seasoned teacher knows that having strong classroom procedures in place are far more beneficial than a series of rules and consequences. Students are creatures of habit, and they often find comfort and security in knowing what their teacher expects of them and what they can expect from their teacher.
Helping students know what to do in typical classroom situations will drastically cut down on behavior issues and stress for both the teacher and the students. For great tips on setting classroom procedures, check out Harry K. Wong’s “The First Days of School.”
There is not much worse than feeling frazzled, especially when there is a room full of students demanding your full attention.
To help minimize that stress, try to get organized as much as possible. Have your getting-to-know-you activities, first week of lessons and materials ready before the first day of in-service trainings. The peace of mind will be well worth the extra time!
Find a Mentor
If you are in your first years of teaching, there is possibly nothing more beneficial than finding a mentor to learn from. If your administrator does not assign a mentor to you, find a seasoned teacher at your school who might be willing to be your “teaching buddy.”
Master teachers are a wealth of knowledge, and there is nothing you’ll face that they haven’t seen in their many years in the classroom. Trust their knowledge, wisdom and expertise. Then, in a few years, pay back the favor to a new teacher who will be looking up to you!
No first day is going to be perfect, and no matter how prepared, organized and excited you will be, sometimes life gets in the way. If/when those best laid plans go haywire, try not to stress. No teacher or student is perfect, and it’s important to remember what matters.
You are a blessing in the lives of children. Give them your best and smile!
Looking for more inspiration for going back to school? Learn about this month’s blog topic: Back to School Advance!