The Ultimate Back to School Guide for Teachers: Part I

Published: Aug 25, 2022

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For many students and teachers, the new school year is right around the corner. We’ve already provided some great tips for students preparing to return to school, so we thought it would only be fair to do the very same for all the teachers out there. After all, teachers deserve a nice little advantage once in a while, as they perform a tremendously important task and are often underappreciated, as well as underpaid. So, without further ado, here is part one of our back to school guide for teachers.

Plan Ahead

When it comes to teaching, making a great first impression on your students is of the utmost importance. If you go in on your first day thinking you can wing it, things could get messy really quick. If you’ve got a syllabus from last year, you’ve got a great starting point. If not, or if you’re new to the game, developing a lesson plan for the first week or two is another good place to start.

From your lesson plan you can determine what types of tasks, activities, worksheets, or games (yes, games) you want to implement. Do your best to plan a tight schedule of events for each day, so you can keep your students’ attention consistently. It also helps to have a fallback plan or some additional components to your primary lesson plan, just in case your students finish their assignments too quickly or if something doesn’t go as planned.

On your first day, have some activities planned that will help your students get acclimated to the classroom rules and procedures, as well as to the classroom itself. A quick tour of the classroom is a fun day one activity, or perhaps give the students a chance to briefly introduce themselves. If you’re teaching high school or college students, your first day should be all about the course syllabus.

Being prepared will also help with all the questions that parents will inevitably ask during the initial parent/teacher conference at the beginning of the school year. With your lesson plan all ready to go, you can provide detailed information about what parents can expect. It’s also important to remember that even with all the planning in the world, things won’t always go smoothly, so stay calm, and do your best to stick with your established plan.

Prepare Your Classroom

Your classroom should be conducive to the learning process, but it should also be inviting. If your students don’t feel excited or accepted in the classroom, they’re far less likely to pay close attention or engage in the process itself. Adding your own unique touch will show the students that contrary to their suspicions, you are indeed a living human being, and have your own interests. For example, if you’re a sports nut, try including a piece of memorabilia or two. Don’t overdo it, and keep the classroom clean and spacious.

To make the classroom experience even more inviting for your students, hang a bulletin board where you can provide them with a schedule, or any other relevant information such as classroom rules. Ensure that all supplies are clearly labeled, and if you’re assigning seats, label each desk with the corresponding student’s name. It is especially important to provide young students with structure, so they can place their focus on the material at hand.

If you’re using any sort of technology in your classroom, now is the time to get it all ready to go. Nowadays, many classrooms use laptops, iPads, or any number of devices to aid in daily classroom activities. Make sure you’ve got any applications you wish to use all ready to go, that the devices are in working condition, and that they can be easily plugged in to charge. Along with your lesson plan, figure out how you’re going to implement any technology ahead of time, and create guidelines of how the students are to use said technology, including time limits or other rules.

Of course, there’s more to being prepared for the school year than organizing your classroom and making sure you’ve got all the tools you need to assist you in your lesson plans. Next time, we’ll share some tips on how to build a solid routine, as well as how to take care of yourself and your sanity during the school year, so stay tuned for part two!