Yes, it’s that time of year. And while students are filling their backpacks with notebooks and pencil cases, it is important for teachers to fill their resource kits with ideas and inspiration.
As most of you know, building the foundation for a successful school year starts before the first bell rings on day one. So to help you get ready, here’s a helpful back-to-school checklist.
- Overplan Your Lessons
The beginning of the school year is hectic and finding time to create daily lesson plans may be difficult. Give yourself a few weeks’ worth of lesson plans for a buffer. Then, once you get into the groove, you can return to your normal lesson planning routines.
- Create a Classroom Behaviour Plan
A classroom behaviour/discipline plan is more than just a list of rules; it is your opportunity to explain and emphasize the expectations of students’ behaviour and performance in the classroom. For best results, have a maximum of three to five rules and/or responsibilities as it’s easier to remember things. Have the students come up with some as well. Getting them involved will help with putting the rules into practice.
- Prepare All Supplies
Stock up on notepads, pens, pencils, dry erase markers, paper, folders, tissues, and anything else you and your students may need.
- Set Up Your Classroom
Setting up your classroom involves more than just pushing desks around and putting books into bookcases. It should be thoughtfully and tactfully planned to best suit your needs as well as your students’ needs. Everything should provide you and your students with an effective and comfortable teaching and learning environment.
- Arrange Desks and Seating Chart
Choosing the best seating arrangement for your classroom can make or break the effectiveness of the class. Your desk configuration should work in concert with your teaching style, your students’ maturity level, your lessons, and the class objectives.
- Prepare Icebreakers & Team-Building Activities
Creating some “casual time” for students to get used to being back in school can alleviate some of the first week jitters and make them feel more comfortable in their new environment. Load up on these types of activities (like classroom scavenger hunts, creating time capsules, group craft projects, and more) during the beginning weeks of the year.
- Start the Learning on Day One
Set the tone for the year and hit the ground running during the first week of school. Explain expectations for the year, rules and procedures. Integrate students into the lesson plan as soon as possible.
Have a great year.