Back to school is an exciting time but it’s also one the busiest times for teachers! There is so much to prepare for your students and even more to plan! That’s where teamwork comes into play and so Emily from Education to the Core and Emma from Clever Classroom thought it would be fun to pull our giant community of teachers together and share advice!
21 Tips from Real Teachers
for Back to School!
Ms. Gibbons from Teaching with Grace says: I always make sure to have my schedule printed out on a strip of paper. Then I tape it like a bracelet to my wrist. Then I have it for the first day and I’m not late anywhere I go!
Ms. Alcantara says: Each kinder class is color coded. They get a name tag in that color. When they arrive they may not remember their teachers name. The color helps! All tags are laminated apples with yarn string.
Ms. Johnson says: I set alarms on my phone…2 minutes before lunch, 3 minutes before recess, etc. and use all year in case we get busy. Different tone for different things. I had a student that HAD to take inhaler 20 minutes before recess and never missed it. Once I had kids going out to special services like Speech, bam! Often complimented on having them where they should be all of the time.
Ms. Gore says: Make a teacher box with deodorant, hair spray, pain relievers, personal products, stain remover, hairbrush, hair clip, and an extra pair of undies.
Ms. Pepper from Kinders in NY says: As I start preparing items for classroom set-up (parent handbooks, name tags, birthday crowns, etc), I put an extra of everything into a gallon size ziplock bag. That way, if I get a new student during the school year, everything I need is in one place!
Ms. Grant says: I print a sheet of name labels for each kid at the beginning of the year. I usually use about 5 of the labels for various journals, cubbies, etc, but then I have 25 left to label artwork for display. I keep them in my sub binder with instructions for my guest teachers that they can give each student their name sticker to help with names if they want.
Ms. Jo says: During the summer, get projects all ready to go for the first week…it flies by at warp speed. (One thing I always do is print out our writing journals which are of course a free resource for you!)
Ms. Grasso says: I work in a very transient district where we get new students throughout the first few weeks of school. To make this easier for me, I make a list of the things each new student will need (folder, welcome packet, etc.)and keep all the supplies they need right away (pencils, crayons, name tag, etc.) in one, easily accessible spot. That way, when a new student walks in during a class activity, I can grab what they need right away and I have a list of things to get together during my prep.
Ms. Cooper says: I like to do lots of practice with transitions. I’ve taught grades prek-jr high and these are important for all age groups. The students can’t follow the rules or live up to your expectations if they don’t know what they are or understand them. This also helps to build the teacher/student relationship.
Ms. Amundson says: Model procedures and practice, practice, practice!!! Give lots of praise when transitions and procedures are done well!
Ms. Hilderbrand says: Have fast finisher activities…not just “read a book”. Keep your students constantly engaged. Be nice to the office staff, media staff and janitor! I also heard great feedback about my emails. The parents loved short and sweet emails through out the year and or the individual attention when we had events sending out a photo to those parents who couldn’t be there. Says a lot about you and only takes a few minutes!! Lastly, joke around. These kiddos are your “little friends”…it’s okay to laugh and be silly with them! You’re spending roughly 180 days with them.. so enjoy everyminute.
Ms. Baggett says: The first two months are the hardest because you’re establishing goals and expectations and relationships, but I promise it will get better. Consistency is the key!
Mrs. Landrith says: Take it slow at the beginning of the year. Develop relations, set up your rules together, give positive reinforcement, and review concepts to set the stage for lots of successes. The time will pay for itself in less issues and smooth sailing the rest of the year.
Ms. Simmons from Always Kindergarten says: I always put a class list on the back of my teacher badge. It’s great for line order and to make sure you have all of your kiddos when transitioning to different places at the beginning of the year! (This idea is also found via pins from Kindergarten Fever.)
Mrs. Plemons from Mrs. Plemmons’ Kindergarten says: Lamintate name tags first then write on them with sharpie, if a kid doesn’t show up or you need to fix a mistake just use magic eraser to erase and relabel!
Ms. Johnson says: When we make nametags, we use laminated, color-coded cardstock with nametag labels on front and first name only in large letters. On the back, LARGE lunch number with space in between. 123 456, last name, and code to get it back (K-J. kdg/Johnson). We use to use name badge pockets and clips, taped shut, but the kids peeled the tape, insides got moldy, etc. On the laminated card stock, we hole punch and use a name badge clip. When the kids would pull the tag without opening the clip first, we made many repairs. Now we loop a rubber band through the hole and use it with the clip. Works like a charm!
Ms. Benifield says: At Sneak a Peek I give each of my students a name tag with my name on it to wear the first day of school. That way if they are a bus or car rider every adult helper knows whose class to bring them to. No worrying about children forgetting who their new teacher is!
Ms. Carlson says: I schedule a massage for the evening of the 2nd day of school!!!
Ms. Ogulnick from Adventures in Kinder and Beyond says: Get comfortable shoes!
Ms. Johnson says: Very hot when school starts in August in Texas. I cut soft, plain white paper towels in half and crumple them up, then soak in water and wring them out. Store in a baggie in my fridge. They are sweaty coming in from recess, and we go right to lunch. I pass out cold wet towels for face and neck on way to cafeteria and offer a spritz of cool water to face on hot days. They calm down and cool off quickly. I keep the spritzer in my fridge. I do this again when the spring gets warm near end of year.
Ms. Kohnen-Boyle from Growing Together says: I send a welcome to Mrs. Boyle’s Class letter in it with a fun name tag. They wear the name tag the first day so that as I greet them I can use their name immediately. It shocks and excites them.
Mrs. Mouchett from Fairhope, Alabama says: Wash your school supplies in your dishwasher. Bye-bye sticky scissors!