3 Back to School Tips to have a Great Year!



It is almost August...did I really just say that? it seems like summer just started... and, if you teach on the east coast, you are probably beginning to think about how you would like to set up your classroom for your new students who will walk through your classroom doors in a few weeks.

Perhaps you are thinking about some new ideas to try! Now, this year I am really not thinking about my classroom since I am now, as they say, "a woman of leisure," but I need to face the facts I will NEVER be that!!!  My mind is always churning and coming up with ideas!  So, when my daughter said,"Mom, I am so excited that you are retired! Now, you can help me set up MY classroom!" I said,"Yes!" So, as i write this I am thinking day and night of all those pinteresty ideas that I can use to help my daughter set up her classroom!

Although I can't come and help you... (I really wish I could because I always loved the create side of teaching)  I can and will share a few tips that I have used over the years to build relationships with students and parents.

So here you go:  A few tips for you as you begin your journey back into the classroom: 


Remember to allow your students to take ownership of their classroom by saving some activities, decorations and ideas that they will create with your support to be used in the classroom.  This will make them feel like it IS their classroom.  

🍎Children can create their own name tags to use on lockers or cubbies. 

🍎They may also like to make "people" ( I have done this for years) where they decorate a blank child template to look like them. 


After the templates are run off on card stock and decorated, they can be laminated.  

Hot glue a clothespin on the center with the child's initial or a themed foam sticker and you can use these to display work all year long!


🍎Another Important Tip That can Start the First Day of School and Continued Throughout the Year: 

Greet each child at your classroom door everyday.  I used different greetings; such as, hello songs, high fives, elbow shakes, fist bumps, smile, dance moves or any quick signal from me to each student.




🍎As they walk into the classroom, think of something positive to say to each child.  YOU will see positive behavior changes if you try to do this every day!  


A smile and compliment can go a long way!  Saying  "good-bye" to each child with an "elbow shake" or high five is also an important part of teaching!  This makes each child feel special!




🍎The Last Tip for Today 


Try to make a positive phone call home
within the first 2 weeks of school. I know that this can be a difficult task with all that needs to be done, but this WILL make a difference! 
Think of yourself as a parent: you are nervous about your child going to first grade and just think how "little Jimmy or Doris" feels. 

Receiving a positive phone call and I emphasize phone call NOT e-mail can set the tone for the rest of the year and it will make it much easier when you have to call for other reasons. 

I also call to EACH child the night before the first day of school to say "hi" and welcome them to my classroom. I tell each child how excited I am to have him or her in my classroom and to make sure they bring their smile to school tomorrow!


So I hope you are excited to start the year and to get your mind in gear...afterall it is almost that time of year!!!

I would LOVE to hear your ideas!  Please share them in the comments!


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