10 Things Teachers Can Do in July to Make a Better Back to School

How fast do those weeks of summer fly by? We no more than get our classrooms closed down at the end of one year before it seems like we are greeting a whole new batch of little learners! Here are my tips for making the most of those summer weeks to help the back to school transition go a little more smoothly.

  1. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. The teachers I know lose so much sleep during the year fretting over their students. They worry about the one that was sad that day, the one that didn’t do as well on a test as he/she should have, the one that keeps forgetting his lunch. In the summer, the only kids you have to worry about are your biological ones. Make time for solid sleep.
  2. Read one book OF YOUR OWN CHOOSING for professional growth. In the summer, you have time to absorb and digest your reading. Choose a book on a topic that interests YOU and revel in the joy of being a learner.
  3. Read books just for fun. We spend so much time during the school year, helping students pick just the right book, now it’s your turn. Enjoy a great story and the adventure of being transported to a different world.
  4. Declutter. Teachers are notorious savers. We save things long after they are useful. Find at least 5 things that you haven’t used this past school year and throw them out.
  5. Play with one new digital tool for the classroom. You know there is always something new, so be proactive and play around with the “new toy” over the summer, so you can hit the ground running.
  6. Let creativity run wild. During the school year, and especially at the beginning of the year, there is a ton of data to be gathered, analyzed, and processed which often takes precedent over creative thinking. Use those hours of lounging by the pool to let your creative brain have fun and dream of ways to pump up the fun and excitement for you students. Keep a voice note or notebook handy to write down your inspirations.
  7. Go shopping. Remember the excitement of back-to-school clothes shopping when you were a kid? Rekindle that. Every teacher needs one new outfit for Open House to boost confidence and feel like a million bucks.
  8. Send a post card to your new students. You know how deep your relationship with students will be by Christmas, but those very first interactions are always a little awkward. Take some of the pressure off that first meeting by making it early. Include a sweet message and photo of yourself so that you are automatically a friendly and familiar face when you meet in person for the first time.
  9. Find the yearbook from your first year of teaching. This is a great trip down memory lane and it will remind you of how much you have grown as an educator (even if you are still fairly new). Take inventory of all the skills you’ve developed, the accomplishments you’ve achieved and pat yourself on the back.
  10. Prayer and positive thoughts. Start praying for your new students now and for the time you will have with them. Put positive thoughts out there and practice the psychology of fulfilling prophecies!

Whatever you do, just do you and enjoy time to reconnect with yourself. Taking care of YOU and indulging in self-care is the best thing you can do to prepare for year ahead. You’ve got this!