An idea that comes to mind includes handing out a “101 guide” to your classroom—this can be in the form of a flipbook or a simple one-page handout. I like to include a general overview of how I operate my classroom, including my contact information and hours I can be reached (I make these clear right from the start of the year), our classroom schedule of specials (e.g., physical education, art, and music), and homework expectations. Remember to have this posted on your classroom website, if possible, for families to access should they ever need to refer back to it!
Or, this can also be where you hand out your newsletter to students so they can leave your classroom learning a bit more about you!
After Meet the Teacher:
Once the organized chaos has come and gone, and you’re gathering your belongings to head out of the classroom, take a deep breath! It’s over, and you just helped ease those beginning-of-the-year butterflies your students (and likely their families) are probably feeling. Also, it’s time to go home and relax!
2. Get excited for a fresh, new school year
Something that I have always loved about school is that every year means a new start. Whether you’re a first-year teacher or an experienced one, the beginning of a school year is a clean slate. This year will bring new memories and adventures!
3. Take care of yourself
As educators, some of us tend to dive into our workload headfirst and don’t always come up for air long enough to worry about ourselves. Between lesson plans, developing individualized education plans, behavior plans, observations, checking and grading assignments, and so much more, we don’t always have time to truly enjoy our lunch breaks or take time away from work.
Remember, you’re the captain of your ship (or the leader of your classroom), and it’s completely OK to walk out of the building when your contract hours are up and leave some tasks for the next day. I promise you—it will all get done, even when it may not feel possible.
After your Meet the Teacher activities are complete, find what works for you to unwind, destress, and relax! Make it a priority to check in with yourself so you can be the best version of yourself for your students (and you). Have a wonderful school year!
The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of HMH.
As you prepare for your return to the classroom, get insights, tips, and free resources in our 2021 back-to-school eBook.