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Back to School Planning: K-5 Teacher’s Success Guide

Summer has finally arrived! I hope you’re all ready for some sun and fun! But, let’s get real for a second. We tend to take a few days of summer, then we start to dive back into back to school planning. If you’re dreading the thought of spending your entire summer break planning, then you’re come to the right place! I have 7 expert tips for effective back to school  planning that will make sure you have plenty of time to relax, recharge, and get mentally ready for the upcoming school year. So, keep reading to transform your summer! 

Back to School Planning that will Transform Your Summer

Summer is a time for you to relax and recharge mentally and physically. This becomes impossible when you are trying to plan for the upcoming school year because you have time. Instead of stressing, follow these seven tips for a stress-free summer. 

  • Reflect on the previous year 
  • Set goals and prioritize 
  • Update and organize curriculum materials 
  • Collaborate with Colleagues 
  • Create a flexible schedule 
  • Invest in professional development 
  • Establish a work-life balance 
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Reflecting Back on the Previous Year 

Before we can move forward, sometimes we have to move back. Grab a notebook and write down all the awesome wins you had this year. Then, write down some things that were hard. These can be classroom management struggles, parent struggles, or work-life balance struggles. Then, write down what you learned or takeaways that you have. Doing this gives you an opportunity to learn from your experience and make next year even better!

It’s important during this first step that you’re honest with yourself. Don’t be afraid to celebrate the wins too! A takeaway doesn’t have to be negative. Make sure you consider the systems that worked as well as the ones you didn’t. Write down things you want to change about those systems or ones you want to totally change. By reflecting, this will make the  back to school planning way easier because you’ll have a guide to put you on the right track. 

Set Goals and Prioritize 

Once you reflect, you can start to set goals for the new school year. This is the time to consider the following: 

  • What do you want to accomplish academically?
  • What does classroom management look like in your classroom?
  • How do you ensure there is student engagement? 

Write down what you want to accomplish, your objectives, and then prioritize them. Then, break your goals down into action steps that you can do to make them happen. These broken down steps create a roadmap you can follow throughout the year. 

If you are struggling with this step, break everything down. For example, if your center management system didn’t run well and you weren’t getting small group time because of interruptions, look into your center management system. You might need some extra work on that. To help with that, you can always check out my center management plan! 

Organization can also be a struggle throughout the year. If you are always looking for materials, figure out what your system needs and create an end goal that prioritizes which organizational methods need a complete overhaul. If your centers need to be organized, check out this free guide that includes 3 easy steps. It includes fun labels that will make your centers not only cute, but organized. This guide will knock organizing centers off your to do list which frees up hours of  back to school planning time. 

Update and Organize Curriculum Materials for Back to School Planning 

Once you have your road map to success created, you can dive into curriculum planning. Take a bit of time to review and update your lesson plans, resources, and assessments to work with the objectives you just created. You can organize this material in a way that is easily accessible and easy for you. This can be done digitally or in a physical binder. Having everything organized and ready to go will save you time and energy when the school year begins. 

Since you're getting your math and literacy centers organized, grab some new activities for them! If you were having trouble with your students staying engaged, our center activities bundles have you covered with fun and easy to play games and hands-on activities that are self-checking! 

You can get these centers for kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth and fifth grade.  All of these centers have predictable game types that help students work independently while you teach small groups. Plus, they all include an exit ticket to help you assess learning easily. 

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Check Out the Links in the Blog for Resources!

Collaborate with Colleagues 

Everyone teaches differently. What does this mean? It means everyone has super different ideas. Make sure you talk to your colleagues about what they do. You can create a team building experience by having coffee, brunch, or lunch with some colleagues over the summer. Take some time to catch up and talk about back to school planning. You might learn something that would make your teacher life way easier! 

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Create a Flexible Schedule When Back to School Planning 

Creating a schedule can help you stay organized throughout the school year. Start by creating a rough outline for your daily and weekly routines. This will help you stay on track and prevent last-minute scrambling. While you are making this plan, make sure there is some flexibility in it. You may have to adjust for assemblies or unexpected weather. The overall goal is to find balance, so be prepared to adapt as the year goes. 

Invest in Professional Development 

You never stop learning as a teacher. Make sure you take some time to have some professional growth. To fit in some professional development, you can attend a conference, do a workshop, or enroll in an online course to stay current on best practices and new teaching strategies. This will keep you inspired and motivated as well as bring you fresh ideas. You can also check out some amazing trainings coming up this summer! Check out all the details here! You can also check out our Educate and Rejuvenate classes or the Educator Summit!

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Check Out Our Professional Development Opportunities in the Blog!

Establish a Work-Life Balance When Back to School Planning 

One thing we can all do better is work on our work-life balance. When you are back to school planning, make sure you are establishing a healthy work-life balance during summer break. You want to set boundaries for your work by giving yourself a specific amount of time for planning and preparation. Schedule time for self-care, relaxation, and enjoying your favorite things! You want to be well-rested and recharged because that makes you a more effective teacher. 

There you have it! These 7 tips will help you strike the perfect balance between back to school planning and resting and relaxing this summer! While preparation is important, you need to remember to take care of yourself and relax before the school year begins! By following these tips, you’ll be ready and recharged for the upcoming school year!

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