Because who’s NOT feeling a little cray-cray right now with back-to-school either already upon them or just about to be?! Keep in mind, you’re not alone, and then, remember to keep calm and don’t forget to be awesome (because you are).
We continue to collect tons of great ideas from our Teacher-Authors on how to navigate specific back-to-school challenges. One you surely know, but is worth repeating is… ta-da:
Establish Back-to-School Classroom Routines and Procedures
No fewer than 40 of the over 115 responses we’ve collected so far reported that this was the #1 most important thing to do—and to do it with kindness, humility, and respect to get the BEST results possible. Ideas ranged from kids writing the rules, to learning about the Bill or Rights to inform classroom rules, to having circle time with 6th graders!
Christine Reeve said, “Try to give students responsibility in the classroom in the form of jobs or roles they can play to be successful. Make the interactions you have with them positive at the beginning of the year and they will want to respond to you. I use my QR Code Surprise Helper Cards to reinforce behaviors I want to see with jobs in the classroom that are a fun surprise since the students don’t know what the job will be until they scan it.”
Those routines and procedures aren’t just for the students, teachers also have a lot to keep track of. Schoolhouse Treasures puts it nicely when she says, “I think the hardest thing about the start of the year is the amount of paperwork that comes your way! Having a system such as inbox, to do, to file, etc. really helps so that you don’t lose it in an endless file. I use a folder system to help me. I also have a teacher binder that helps to keep me organized.”
“So many things are important at the beginning of the school year, it’s hard to choose the MOST important one! Introducing, modeling, discussing, and practicing classroom expectations is definitely at the top of the list because it sets you up for a successful school year, and we all want that, right?!” is how Amy Lemons puts it. So true Amy! She says, “I use this unit: My School Rules! to help introduce the rules and it worked perfectly last year!”
I love how this discussion topic generated so many thoughtful responses and LOVE that it was nearly impossible to choose just one “most important thing.”
I know, I know—my time is up but I wanted to end with a really awesome quote from Ms-Lies who says, “Smile, dance, sing and make the classroom a joyous place to be. It is your second home after all.” And it’s also how you embrace the cray-cray.