It is that time again, where we lose sleep over cute classrooms, professional development and engaging activities. This will be my 15th year of teaching and I am still up early worrying about stuff that I need to do! I will be presenting to the new teachers at my school today and I have come up with 5 Back to School tips to KEEP YOUR SANITY!
1. Cute Classrooms take time, especially if you are a new teacher, and won’t get paid until the end of September ( I remember this time )! Just do what you can do, to make it cute. Don’t get caught up in Instagram and Facebook photos of cute and perfect classrooms. Those classrooms took time and years to put together. Your students will love you based on the relationship you form with them, not because you have the cutest classroom ever. Super Tip– Use fabric for your bulletin boards. The fabric wont fade and will last for years! Plus you can buy fabric that has an awesome theme, print or design to make your boards POP!
2. You are NOT ALONE! The first couple of weeks are stressful for EVERYONE regardless of how long they have been teaching. Make sure to breathe, relax when you get home and remember you are not the only one who feels stress. Super Tip- Form a relationship with your team. I am so lucky to work with my best friends! I could not imagine going through a school year without them. We share our feelings and have each other’s back.
3. Set expectations and rules the minute the students come into the class. Once you have set those expectations and rules for the class, be consistent and vigilant. This will be stressful in the beginning and you will sound like a parrot, just repeating yourself, but after a month or two (may be a semester) the students will get it and then you will not have to repeat yourself anymore. Super Tip– Have students create the rules with you. You can facilitate the discussion and lead students towards the rules you want. The students will have more buy in when they are a part of the process.
4. Everyday is a new day and learn from your mistakes! There will be days that your lesson doesn’t go the way it was supposed to, or there are drills or assemblies in the middle of instruction or you spill coffee all over your cute outfit. Those days suck but the good thing about those sucky days is that they are over the minute your head hits the pillow. You wake up and guess what? It is a new day! Leave the mistakes behind you, learn from the mistakes and move forward. Super Tip- Have this same belief about your students. Kids have bad days too. Don’t hold a grudge. Kids make mistakes so let them know that tomorrow is a new day and a clean slate.
5. Prepare in advance! Know your content and standards! If it is your first year, you may want to plan out what you want to say and do each day. You never want to “wing it” because the kids will know and they will not be engaged. You want to prepare and anticipate everything that can go wrong with an activity. Super Tip- Find someone who does know their content and use them as a resource.
I am grateful to be a part of an amazing giveaway! So let’s celebrate the start of the new school year by winning some FREE GIFT CARDS!!!! 3 winners will be chosen!