It’s that time. It’s actually past that time around my parts but the life of a busy mom, educator and blogger has just gotten the best of me. I wanted to share a few back to school tips that have helped me over the years.
Back to School Tip #1
The first back to school tip that we do in our house is that we try weeks before to slowly adjust our schedule as close to a school schedule that we can. That means I wean the teenagers (it’s crazy to type that out now for those that have been around since the beginning) off of their lack of sleep schedule. In this process, we build up to waking up around the time of needing to get ready for school starting. This is one of those tips that I know everyone knows, but I wanted to mention it because it’s important for teachers as well as the kids. As teachers and parents, we sometimes forget we also need the routine. Remind yourself that it’s okay.
Back to School Tip #2
This tip I might get some slack for but it helps me not break the bank. I am horrible, awful actually, at not shopping with a list. During the back to school season though, I insist on making lists. The reason is because well I’ll buy all the things that I don’t need nor do my students. Then when there is a need for my classroom, I can’t justify it because I purchased all of the things during my random shopping trip to Target. Make a list, use the supply lists from the school for your own kids. Speaking of supply lists…as a teacher, I try to review my list each year and make sure I’m actually using what I’m asking for. Sometimes things sound good but it just doesn’t make into action in the classroom. I try to do a very short list of supplies and explain to parents that if a need comes up in the classroom, I will let them know as the year goes. This way, parents aren’t spending a ton at the beginning of the year for a project in February. Parents often respond better to this idea and understanding. Specifically, what comes to mind for things like this are index cards, additional sets of markers/crayons, etc.
Back to School Tip #3
When preparing your lesson plans, start with your topic. Next, what interactive read aloud can you use to teach that topic? For example, if I’m teaching my students about rules and procedures during the first week, I want to use the interactive read aloud: What If Everybody Did That?
Back to School Tip #4
Another trick I like to use during the rush of back to school is the use of Google Drive. At the beginning of the year, I create a folder that has my schedule, newsletter, supply list and anything else I want to add. Once I receive my parents contact information and tell them about this resource, I send them a link to it. Each week, I upload my newsletter there. This way, when Malik misplaces his newsletter with our important information on it, parents have a place they know where they can find it.
Back To School Tip #5
I really feel bad for mentioning this so late but maybe next year it will help someone. This is something I do several times during the summer. I go back and review the purchases I’ve made on Teachers Pay Teachers . I leave valuable feedback on how my purchases helped me in the classroom. If there’s something I think would be of value to the seller, I will send them an e-mail with my suggestions. Most people who sell on TpT are not big ole corporations. I try to work with the seller if there is something I see that might need addressed. Grace goes a long way in this crazy world! Once I’ve left valuable feedback for my purchases, I’m able to shop for the next school year. Typically, I have quite a bit of credits built up to go towards my purchases. This back to school tip really helps me prepare for the upcoming school year.
BONUS BACK TO SCHOOL TIP:
Prep the classroom intervention resources NOW. Protect your intervention time from the beginning. This is special time that you do not give up for anything! I hope these back to school tips help you, even the obvious ones. Remember: You matter, your time matters and you are doing a great job!