We're Going Back To School Soon
Yikes! Not already!
Summer is going by so quickly. It's hard to believe that we are already into the second half of July. Some people are preparing to return to school in a couple of weeks while others just began their holidays a couple of weeks ago.
Teachers may be taking a break from the classroom, but that doesn't mean that they are forgetting about school all together. In their daily travels, most teachers notice things that spark the thoughts of how they can use them in their classrooms. These might be items they see, places they visit, new ways of approaching ideas, or a variety of other things.
Beginning each year refreshed and with a new outlook is important for the mental health of teachers. Teaching is challenging nowadays and it is important to make sure that you take care of yourselves. If you don't, you risk burnout, sickness, and low energy which can lead to more challenges in the classroom. Remember to
Do More of What Makes You Happy!
Classroom management and organization is key
Classroom management and organization will be key to helping you stay mentally in the game. If you ask anyone who has been teaching for a long time for tips, you will probably be told that it is important to spend time the first few weeks establishing routines and expectations, and getting to know your students.
This hung on my hallway bulletin board at the beginning of the year as a reminder that each person was special and important in our classroom. I later moved it into my classroom and put it on a board by the calendar.
Not only was it a daily reminder for my students, it was a daily reminder for me as well.
Kids like to feel that their teachers care about them. Doing things together and sharing stories can help with this. My students loved hearing stories about my family, my pets, and my childhood. They felt like I was more than just a teacher. They realized that I had a life outside of the classroom and I had included them in a part of it.
They knew that my power word was
When I retired, my husband and son spoke at my reception. Here is an excerpt of what my son had to say.
"For many people, work and family are very much separate entities. For my mom, I believe the two are inextricably linked.
I'm not saying that she always brings work home. Rather, I think family plays into her everyday work life. My mom is firm, yet fair, and she cares so much about the success and well being of her students, they become like extended family members.
Who else can say that, for a while, they thought their mom's first name was Mrs., or who can say that they get an annual birthday serenade from a class of elementary students, who've been well briefed on your life by the way."
Building relationships is important
Building relationships is one of the most important things we can do when we get our new students. We need to help them to understand that we are there for them, we care about them, and we want them to be successful. I feel that this is crucial for a successful year.
Team building and getting to know each other is essential. Everyone will do this in different ways depending on their personalities and interests, but that is okay. It helps with learning to accept uniqueness and diversity.
Getting to know your students is very important. Who better to ask than the parents. Every year I send home a form called "Getting Acquainted". (Get your own copy by clicking the image above.) It is a way for parents to share some insights about their child and the family. Since so many parents are now working, it is harder to have face to face conversations with them. They want to be involved in their child's learning, but sometimes we have to be more creative to make sure this happens.
It is important to keep the lines of communication open so that we can have the frank conversations when necessary. I believe that each day is a fresh start, so if I can focus on what is right in the classroom and help my students to do the same, this can be communicated to the family through notes, phone calls, or face to face conversations when possible.
Often parents will ask what they can do at home to help support the learning that is happening at school. I believe that the best way to help is to read with their child and give them lots of real life experiences that use the skills and concepts taught. I send home a paper that explains how to go about doing Home Reading so that it can be effectively done and a positive experience for everyone. It is amazing how stressful home reading can be in some homes otherwise.
Here are samples of my letters. These are also available in my Back to School Start Up Forms package.
Well, there you have it. I hope some of these insights help you and that you have an awesome new school year with many successes and celebrations.
For access to free resources on my followers page, sign up for my newsletter.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.