What teachers can do in the summer to prepare for the school year
Teacher with a classroom of young children

As children, many of us wanted to be teachers because we thought we’d get the summer off - but actual teachers know that’s not quite how it works. While one school year may be wrapping up, there’s always another to prepare for. If you’re a teacher looking to get ahead for next year’s classes, then this article is for you.

Here are 7 things that teachers can do in the summer to prepare for the school year.

1. Update your own knowledge base

As a teacher, you’re responsible for educating students, but teachers know better than anyone just how quickly things can change and how new information is available all the time. Summer gives teachers a chance to not just freshen up on the topics in their areas of expertise, but to also learn and educate themselves on any changes in the field. You could do your own research online or use this as an opportunity to connect and learn with other teachers in your community.

2. Go over lesson plans

The summer break is an ideal time for teachers to go over lesson plans and consider what worked well the previous year versus what didn’t work quite as well and needs to be improved. Take this time to tweak your lesson plans based on this past year’s experience to better prepare yourself for the upcoming school year.

3. Organize your classroom

If you’re able to physically access your classroom during the summer break, then you may as well take advantage and organize it how you like. This could include desk arrangements, any decorations as well as the placement of any teaching aids, learning tools, or rules. You can organize any books or other materials, arrange your desk as you see fit, and put together any paperwork or workbooks that you know you will be using with your students over the first few days of school.

4. Prepare your routines

If you’re a teacher at a school that has regular morning or end-of-day routines, then it’s a good idea to take some time in the summer to prepare those and have them ready in advance so that your day runs smoothly and efficiently. Daily routines could include things like submitting or checking homework, attendance, cleaning up, lunch and bathroom breaks, and so on. You’ll also want to pre-determine detention or time-out activities. 

5. Get yourself ready

Back-to-school shopping isn’t just for students – teachers will also find that they’ll need to stock up on supplies. Shopping during the summer allows you to spread out those expenses and keep an eye out for any savings or deals, including back to school promotions.

6. Read through your students’ files

As a teacher, you are going to have a lot of new names and faces to know. Using your summer to start learning them will help get you ahead. You should also take the time to go through your students’ files and check any notes from previous teachers. Are there learning disabilities or allergies to be aware of? What are some strengths and weaknesses you should be focusing on? Getting an advanced understanding of these little things will help both teacher and students alike.

7. Write welcome letters to your students 

This is especially popular if you’re an elementary school teacher with younger students, and some school principals will even ask you to have one ready. Welcome letters usually introduce yourself to the children and parents, and should include a little bit of personal information as well as your professional credentials. You can also include a list of required school supplies for the upcoming year. While it’s intended to be a professional letter, remember to try to keep it fun – you’ll want your students to be excited to meet you when school starts up again.

Hannah Logan is a Canadian travel writer who dreams of being just like Indiana Jones. You can follow her travels on her personal travel blog Eat Sleep Breathe Travel where she shares her travel tales and (mis)adventures around the world.

Hannah Logan is a paid spokesperson of Sonnet Insurance.
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