Several weeks ago we talked about creating a realistic plan for your summer vacation. Check out that post to get some advice about making your summer the best it can be for you personally.
Today we want to switch gears a bit to talk about some of the ways you can make the next school year less stressful. We’re not talking about re-working your entire collection of lesson plans or anything like that. Instead, we want to focus on a few simple steps you can take that will save you a lot of time and stress down the road.
These six steps are straightforward, simple, and most importantly, will save you a lot of time and stress at the start of the school year.
- Plan Your Classroom Space
Take a few hours to think about your classroom and how the space works for both you and your students. Is it easy for students to get the supplies they need? Are they able to move around the classroom with minimal obstacles? The way you set up your classroom has a huge impact on productivity so take some time to sketch out what you want your classroom to look like.
- Update Online Materials
Do you have a classroom website? Do you use online materials for grading, assignments, or something else? Over the summer update all of these online materials. Revamp your website for the next school year, re-organize materials so it’s easy to find what you need later, and update templates for newsletters, permission slips, and other materials so all of that is ready for September.
- Record Your Procedures & Routines
Having the full details of your procedures and routines written out will lower your stress and save you time. It’s a great way to nail down little details you may have still been toying with. You can share these documents with your students so they understand exactly what is expected of them. Plus, this is a great resource for substitute teachers when they come into your classroom.
- Organize Your Materials
Files, warm-ups, books for your classroom library, bulletin board materials…all of it should be organized to make life easier for you during the school year. Summer is the perfect time to get materials organized in an intuitive way. This will save you tons of time during the school year and may sound overwhelming, but in reality it will only take you a couple of days of your summer to get these materials organized.
- Have a System For Organizing Lesson Plan Ideas
You’re probably already aware of the curriculum you’re going to be covering next year. Over the summer keep an eye out for ideas and materials that will work well for that curriculum. Keep it organized in whatever way makes sense to you, whether this is online using Pinterest boards or in bags you’ve labeled for each month of the school year. When school starts you’ll have a wealth of materials to choose from when you begin lesson planning.
- Create Lesson Plans For The First Two Weeks Of School
Having the first couple weeks of lesson plans ready to go will reduce your anxiety as the start of the school year approaches. This means you can focus on getting to know your students, establishing routines and procedures, and teaching. No last-minute lesson planning for you!