Preparing For The First Few Weeks of School


     When it comes to preparing for a new school year, there's a lot involved. Depending on your school, its curriculum, and all the unique details to your school, preparation will differ from teacher to teacher. However, creating a to-do list is a strategy that everyone can use to help comb through what to do now, and what can wait. In this post, I will explain my to-do list and how I use this to help me prepare for the upcoming year.
     To begin, a to-do list can be created on anything, from a digital device to an actual sheet of paper. Personally, Google Calendar is my preferred tool. I have set tasks on my calendar for "this week", "next week", each day of the week, and each month of the year. For recurring tasks unique to the month, I have tasks that I keep there year round (such as: prepare for Independence Day, which, in Mexico, is in September). Tasks that I am currently working on typically go under "This week." The exception tends to be in August as I am preparing for the upcoming year.
     To ensure I am completing all the many things that need to be done for the new school, I will add my to-do list under "August" (see first image). I put these items here instead of "this week" because I might be working on this list for several weeks in preparation of the new school year. Some of these things I will work on while still on summer vacation, other items cannot be worked on until I am back at school. Here's what's on my list:

1) Speak with the new technology teacher.
2) Send bimester one plans to all activity teachers.
3) Work on lesson plans for the first month (add STEM component).
4) Create new bathroom passes.
5) Create first day meeting presentation with parents.
6) Print the new grade-level binders.

     As you can see, some of these items can be done from home, others cannot (such as speaking with the new technology teacher). However, I know that the beginning of the year (including those first couple of weeks before students arrive) is busy and somewhat chaotic. My to-do list helps to hold all the things I want to work on so I don't forget something during the business of the new year. It also allows me to start on some of the tasks at home so that I fewer pending items when the year actually begins. Otherwise, it is much too tempting to wait to think about everything that needs to be done until the school year begins. While I do advocate for taking time off and enjoying the summer, I also advocate for using some of that time to help make your life easier in the fall.

    What do you do to help prepare for the new school year? I'd love to hear about it.


  1. It's always amazing how the beginning of the year comes so quickly! I like to spend the summer thinking about bigger, "meta" themes for my classroom - like the culture, overall structure, etc. During the year, I get so caught up in the day-to-day. In the summer, I can really take a step back and make tweaks.

    Now, in a year-round district job, I don't get summer in quite the same way :-(. I am really looking forward to having principals, teachers, & students back in school - they are the reason I do what I do, and it's quiet during the summer! While it's nice to have the time to catch up, I don't quite get those interactions and sparks of inspiration that keep me going.


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