How Teachers Can Prepare for Back to School

Kristoff Albanese For Educators

How Teachers Can Prepare for Back to School

In this guide, we’ve shared five teacher back to school preparation tips, so you can plan for the coming year and minimize stress. Late August and early September is usually a hectic time for teachers — especially if they’re returning from a much-needed summer vacation. Fortunately, most educators have strong organizational skills. By following this teacher to do list before school starts, you’ll be poised to have a successful fall semester.

Reflect on the Previous School Year

First, we recommend looking through last year’s class schedule and lesson plans. This will remind you what worked, what failed, and what could be reworked for the upcoming year. Furthermore, you can use this preparation phase to reconsider and optimize your weekly work schedule. This will help you avoid bringing unfinished lesson plans home, so you have plenty of family time.

If you’re dreading the upcoming year, take a moment to reflect on these feelings, and write down your thought process. This will help you gain clarity about the job, so that you can address these feelings head-on.

How Teachers Can Prepare for Back to School

Purchase Classroom Supplies

It’s never too early to start buying lab materials for specific lesson plans, but at a minimum, you should restock basic supplies that students will use on a regular basis. The back to school checklist for teachers includes notebook paper, binders, pens, staples, and whiteboard markers. If possible, try to rely on the school’s budget for these supplies, and look for free resources around town as well.

How Teachers Can Prepare for Back to School

Create a Lesson Plan for the First Week

Typically, students don’t expect to have real homework on the first day of school, but they still bring a nervous energy to a new classroom dynamic. It’s important to plan a few fun icebreakers that will bring students out of their shells, so they can make new friends and feel comfortable. This introductory period will also help you gauge each student’s ability level, so you can plan future lessons accordingly, and assist students who need a little extra attention.  

How Teachers Can Prepare for Back to School

Get in Touch with Students and Parents

When deciding how to prepare for a new school year for teachers, it’s a smart idea to consult with parents and students in the weeks leading up to school. We recommend sending a letter in the mail, so families know what to expect before the students walk into the classroom. You can include a welcome greeting, a brief bio about yourself, any supplies that students need to bring on Day 1, and an email/phone contact for parents to reach you. This will make students feel special, show parents that you care, and open a valuable line of communication for the entire school year.

How Teachers Can Prepare for Back to School

Revisit Your Classroom Policies

Finally, take a moment to look over your established classroom rules and disciplinary actions. We recommend using these rules as an initial framework, but you can also ask students to come up with rules on the first day. This empowers students to hold themselves to a higher standard. Studies show that when students have a say in the rulemaking, they are more likely to follow those rules.

How Teachers Can Prepare for Back to School

Ready for class?

At GraduationSource, we believe that great teachers have the power to change students’ lives. Visit our blog for more educational resources and teaching tips.