I remember coming back to school my first several years of teaching. I remember the ends of those first years also. They are somehow connected, but it took me a while to figure out the best way to organize the end of my school year so that the start of the next year was smooth, efficient, and relatively stress-free. In the next few posts, I will be sharing ideas that I have learned over the last decade and a half. Most of these ideas are not my own, but are gleaned from having worked with some very fine educators far more efficient than I am when I’m left to my own devices. If you leave comments about what has worked for you, then we’ll all have a larger resource base of knowledge and experience to work from. So don’t be shy! Share your great ideas and experiences.
To start it off, I find that a checklist can really help me focus. I tend to be easily distracted and end up focusing on the non-essentials and then run out of time for the essentials. A checklist helps me stay with the essentials and only do the non-essentials if time allows. I’ve done a little bit of research on some checklists you might want to refer to as you create your own. The links to these sites are provided below.
…will be easy to follow.
…will provide reminders for things that must be done, before the first day of school, on the first day of school, the first week of school, the first month of school for starters
…will remind you to begin planning now for your parent Open House or Family Night
…force you to consider routines, procedures, traffic flow, and how you plan to teach these things the first few weeks of school
…remind you to revisit your substitute notebook and make any relevant updates for the year
…remind you to prepare any forms, hall passes, incentives, charts, graphs, syllabus, you need to
…remind you to organize your own day so that everything as much as possible is an automatic routine. For example, every morning, before school, I have the same routine, every afternoon after school I have the same things I must do before I leave to prepare for the next day. Revisit these each year to make sure they still hold or if they need to be revised.
…remind you to take time for digital organization: organize your inbox, document files, group lists for people or committees you routine have to email to, etc.
You will probably be able to add your own based on the needs of your current teaching assignment.
Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educator’s — a list of more checklist links here
First Days of School — links to tons of sites especially designed with the new teacher in mind
ABC Teach Directory of Back-To-School stuff
Busy Teacher’s Cafe — I think this might be one of my new favorite sites!
I Love That Teaching Idea — not really a checklist, but some good back-to-school resources
Most of the links (though not all) above are geared for elementary teachers. It would be wonderful to have you comment and provide links to your favorite back-to-school sites or give us your back-to-school checklists.
P.S. Clipart on this page is created by Philip Martin at http://www.phillipmartin.info/clipart/school.htm
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