Prepare to Succeed: Back to School Prep for Early Education Teachers

Prepare to Succeed: Back to School Prep for Early Education Teachers

Teachers frequently experience mixed emotions of excitement and dread as the school year ends and a new one is about to begin. "Fail to prepare, prepare to fail," is a well-known saying that also applies to education. 

Midsummer tends to be the time when thoughts of the upcoming school year start creeping in, accompanied by a wave of stress. However, I've discovered over the years that staying ahead and dealing with these stressors may do wonders for making back to school a breeze.

In this blog post, you’ll look at how organizing your back-to-school activities can significantly reduce stress while simplifying the transition. You can begin preparing for a successful performance because, as Gail Godwin famously said, "Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths theater."

Developing The Mindset To Beat Midsummer Stress 

Now, you may be thinking, "I can't possibly think about Back to School with all I have to finish up this school year." I understand the to-do list seems never-ending—averaging grades, finishing grade cards, working on cumulative records, preparing for awards day, planning special days and weeks, and organizing the end-of-year party.

But here's the thing: if you start by doing just one or two things before you leave for summer break, it can set you up for a much smoother Back to School season. Believe me when I say this approach has helped me over the years and made returning to school much simpler.

It's worth pondering on the timeless words of Henry Ford, who once stated, "Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right." This simple yet profound statement highlights the immense power of our thoughts and thinking. So, keep a can-do attitude in mind and prioritize what you can do to prepare! 

The first step to making successful Back to School preparations is to develop a "can-do" attitude. It means taking on every task and believing you can complete it. Here are some techniques for cultivating this way of thinking:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Set goals for what you want to accomplish throughout the preparation phase. Setting clear, specific goals provides you with a sense of purpose and direction.

  1. Break It Down: Divide your preparation tasks into smaller, more doable steps. It becomes less intimidating and more achievable when you take on one small task at a time.

  1. Positive Affirmations: Utilize affirmations that are uplifting to replace self-doubt. Remind yourself of your strengths and past accomplishments. Reiterate positive statements like "I am capable," "I can handle this," and "I am prepared."

  1. Visualize Success: Take a moment to visualize yourself finishing your educational tasks successfully and succeeding well in the classroom. Your optimism and inspiration can rise as a result of visualizing it.

  1. Be Adaptable: You can understand that challenges and failures are a necessary part of your journey by remaining resilient. Consider these opportunities to learn and grow as opposed to failures. Maintain your determination to face obstacles.

You may turn your dreaded responsibilities of getting ready for back-to-school into exciting chances for growth and success by adopting this proactive and positive approach. Therefore, put your faith in your capacity to plan and succeed, and observe how it changes how you think about getting ready for back to school.

Tips And Tricks For Getting Started In Back to School Prep

The efforts you invest now will set the tone for the months ahead, shaping the experiences of both you and your students. So, whether you're eager to discover fresh strategies or seeking reassurance as you revisit your tried-and-true methods, check out these strategies to make preparation the cornerstone of your classroom success.

Try to choose one or two things you think would help you the most. Here are a few examples of things I would always do before the year ended.

1. Prepare For The First Weeks

Choose the morning work, crafts, and worksheets I knew I could use the first two weeks of school. I would then run copies for all these things. I dreaded wasting my time standing in line for the copier at the beginning of the year.

Make copies of these materials beforehand to avoid the back-to-school copy machine rush. The first year I did this, I went to Kinkos and paid to run my copies off. Yes, OCD. I knew I would have 18-22 students, so I would run 25 of everything so I had plenty. 

2. Update Relevant Information

Update Open House Information, Classroom Information forms, etc., that you hand out to parents and students on open house night. Make copies of anything and everything you can. 

I wanted to only do this once, and knowing I would get new students all throughout the school year, I would run 30 of all the forms and packets so I’d have them anytime I got a new student.

3.  Organize Folders To Beat Unneeded Stress

Here are some tips to help you get a head start on the new school year if you currently have no idea where your Back to School materials and master copies are and feel a little underprepared.

Once the school year starts back up, as you start pulling all the things you do each year, start a folder and place copies of EVERYTHING you do in that folder. Name it Back to School or organize them on your computer where you can easily access them and just hit print.

As you pack up your classroom, dust, clean, and organize, you will be ready to start with a doable action plan next year.

Back to School Resources In The Classroom

Every teacher is aware of the significance of a well-equipped classroom. It's the canvas for young minds to paint their dreams and explore the world of knowledge. The process of gathering, organizing, and utilizing Back to School resources is a vital step in setting the stage for a successful academic year.

To help you get a jump start on preparing for Back to School, check out these resources!

This Read Aloud Activities Bundle is perfect for Back to School! You get five weeks of structured and comprehensive reading activities and lesson plans that use children's literacy to teach classroom rules and behaviors, character education, acceptance, differences, and friendships. These reading activities come with detailed and differentiated lesson plans, writing activities, crafts, vocabulary, tests, and more!

You can start the school year with everything planned and ready with this bundle! All you will need is a copy of the following picture books:

The Recess Queen


A Bad Case of Stripes

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon

Unique Monique

Start the year off right by teaching your students to use visual clues to follow directions with this set of School Supply Visuals Cards and Posters. These classroom visual supplies are perfect for creating independence with your primary grade students and special education students and come in color and black and white.

So, take a deep breath, enjoy the ride, and let your enthusiasm for education come through. You are well on your way to creating an inviting, exciting, and dynamic classroom atmosphere, provided you have the right mindset and preparation. Here's to an amazing year ahead that is full of chances for growth, learning, and creativity.

I hope you’re as prepared and excited for the new school year as I am. May you have an Oinktastic teaching journey. You've got this! 🐷

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