So many back-to-school lists focus on students, and for good reason, too. A lot of students and parents are filled with anxious energy as they prepare for the start of another year. However, these lists only focus on one side of the classroom, and we think teachers deserve just as much support! After all, teachers have plenty to consider, from setting up their classroom to planning out their lessons—not to mention things like self-care and personal wellness. With that in mind, we asked faculty members in our School of Teacher Education to offer some back to school advice for teachers. The School of Teacher Education helps prepare teachers—both current and future—to feel more confident in the classroom and gain invaluable experience to better serve the needs of their students. Learn more about the programs in the School of Teacher Education. Whether you’re a first-time teacher or a seasoned expert, back to school can be challenging. However, these tips from our School of Teacher Education faculty members can provide you with the knowledge you need to thrive through the first few weeks of class.
For most of us, the mental and physical expenditures of the beginning of a school year are a bit of a shock to the system after the summer break. I always remind and implore beginning teachers (and all of us should) to take care of yourself. Eat healthy. Drink water (now's the time to kick that college Diet Coke and Mt. Dew habit). Sleep. Sleep. Exercise a bit if you can. See your friends, particularly in real life! Load up on Vitamin C the first weeks--all those school germs smell fresh meat and are coming for you. Have fun!
Take time to get to know your students and families. The first week is always busy with introducing rules and procedures, administering benchmark preassessments, collecting baseline data on students, and doing a million other tasks; however, building rapport with students and establishing a sense of community in your classroom is time well spent and will go a long way towards creating a risk-taking environment for students so they can achieve. It's never too early to start communicating with parents. Let them know what your expectations are of their children in your classroom and your preferred methods of communication in the event of a problem, concern, or question.
We hope that these tips help teachers have a happy and successful start to your school year!