At the end of the school year, most teachers are focusing on keeping students engaged, writing report cards, communicating with parents, figuring out new placements, and packing up the classroom. With all the hustle and bustle of the final months of school, it is hard to even wrap our brains around preparing for for next year. That is what the last week of July is for right?!? Today we have rounded up fellow teachers who know the spring struggle, but also have some easy and effective tips for creating a smooth back to school season by doing a little preparation now. We think you will thank them come August!
While some teachers can have everyone’s name down pat by the end of the first period, others need a little more help. If you are struggling to remember your students’ names, here are 4 time tested tips and 1 new, fun project idea to get you going:
Move over Von Trapps, it's time for the sound of school:
New sharpened pencils and fresh ink in pens
Bright stadium lights and warm woolen letterman's
Brown paper lunch bags tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite back to school things
With all of the stress, busyness, and seemingly endless meetings that greet teachers at the beginning of each school year, I thought that today would be a good day to reflect on some of my favorite parts of the back to school season. Feel free to share yours in the comment section below!
July is almost gone and so it is officially time to start (or continue) thinking about going back to school. For a long time, the first day of school was one of my most dreaded days. It isn't just the students who have the nightmares about forgetting their pants and their locker combos! I worried and stressed about making a perfect impression, coming up with the perfect activity and forgetting to cover all the procedures that would set us up for a perfect school year. I also felt some pressure from the administration over the years to enforce and reinforce school rules on the first day. Luckily, over the years the first day has gotten easier and I have learned what doesn't work for me. I am sharing my list below and I'd love to hear what you will or will not be doing on the first day of school! Leave a comment in the comment section below. ;)
Every year in September, teachers at my school are required to submit emergency lesson plans, which are to be used in case we are absent and unable to complete regular sub plans. In 10 years, I have only used my emergency lesson plans once, but on that day, boy was I glad they were there! Whether emergency lesson plans are a school requirement or if you are just making them for your own piece of mind, today I want to share a couple of tips for making the most out of emergency lesson plans.
In 10 years, I've learned that long-term planning is the #1 way to manage the crazy stress and overwhelming to do list faced by teachers. I'm sharing my process for planning below. If you are reading this as a new teacher, I cannot stress enough the need to come up with some system for organizing your long-term goals and curriculum. If you are a fellow veteran, I'd love to hear your process. Either way, join the discussion in the comment section below!
It seems like everywhere I turn these days I see a new resource to help students take short cuts around the valuable work we do in our classrooms. When I was working on a side project recently, I came across fiverr.com, which is a global marketplace offering a variety of services, or gigs, starting at $5 each. I was disheartened to see sellers offering to do homework or analyze a book, but it did get me thinking about how I could switch the dynamic around to give teachers some much needed shortcuts. Here are the $5 gigs I found that can take tough tasks off of our teacher to do lists, so we can focus on other important classroom priorities:
Let's just get one thing out of the way: teachers do not sign up for this gig for the gifts! That being said, we really appreciate any act of generosity from parents and students and judging by my Pinterest feed, parents are inspired to treat teachers to a little something here and there. I decided to write this blog post because my Pinterest feed has been chock full of the most adorable back to school teacher gifts interspersed with this popular ecard:
This is my first post for 2014 and so I find it fitting that I share one of my new year teaching resolutions, which spun out of my top 10 teaching struggles post. Here it is ladies and gentlemen, this year I resolve to...
I don't know about you guys, but I am completely addicted to Pinterest and so jealous of our elementary counterparts with AMAZING room ideas! If you are not already following Simply Novel on Pinterest, check us out soon. This year, I decided to step it up on the decoration front in a way that is not only pinterest pretty, but also completely functional for teaching secondary English and the Common Core. I teach primarily American Literature so my ideas for this post surround the idea of teaching literature along a chronological, historical path in US History, but you could do something similar with any literature class. I'd love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, and classroom decorating tips in the comment section below!