How to make an easy transition back to school

Back to school

It’s Summer — chances are it’s beautiful out. Blue skies and mid 80’s – not a cloud in the sky. You’re at the beach playing with your kids. A book in one hand – and ice cream in the other.

Life could not be better.

And then you get that nagging feeling. Just as you’re starting to enjoy the last few days of summer vacation, back-to-school time creeps into your thoughts.

There’s always a l

ooming calendar date for back-to-school. It hangs over you like a dark cloud, waiting to rain. You know it’s going to happen. But, you want to put it off as long as possible. Go away back-to-school thoughts, go away.

But, shouldn’t you be excited to get back to school?

School means a time to catch up with other teachers, impart wisdom on young minds, and well, get a paycheck. But it’s tough to muster up the energy to start your school year off with a bang.

Get in the swing of things quickly with these tips:

1. Check your email prior to school starting

Email overload is inevitable for the first few weeks of school. There’s emails from teachers, your principal, the principal’s assistant – pretty much everyone. Take a couple hours to sort through email before you head back. That way, you’re starting the year at inbox zero, instead of inbox 1,000.

2. Get together with other teachers before the year starts

Invite a couple teachers over to your house for a potluck or small gathering. Talk about what your summer has been like, but try to avoid talking about the upcoming year. While it’s great to chat about students you dislike, it puts you back into school mode. Enjoy the time with your colleagues before you start in August.

3. Review your student roster

Find out who your students are going to be for the upcoming year. Maybe you have a former student’s younger sister. Or, you’ve got a trouble-maker in your class. Either way, it’s exciting to learn about who’s going to be in your class for the next year.

4. Decorate your classroom

Pick up some paper and scissors and get creative! Decorating your classroom is not only fun for you, but it’ll make your new students feel welcome in their new digs. Back-to-school supplies are on sale for the next few weeks. Take advantage of the sales and decorate your classroom to the nines.

5. Plan a creative lesson

There’s nothing like getting your first lesson plan up and running. It’s exciting to try something new, see how your students take it, and adapt. After all, that’s what being a teacher is all about. But, this first lesson is different. Let it be something fun, creative, and inspirational. Maybe it’s a project about your student’s summer vacation. Or, you could see what they want to accomplish this year if your students are in middle school or high school.

6. Schedule your fun time before it’s too late

If I know anything about teachers, it’s that there’s limited time for fun once school starts. You’ve got lessons plan, papers to grade, and parents-teacher conferences. Solve the work slump by planning your vacation time or nightly outings ahead of time. That way when you’re in the middle of a hectic week, you can look forward to your long-weekend in Chicago.

7. Find tools to make you (and your student’s lives) easier

Many technology companies are revolutionizing the education space. With computers and tablets present in a lot of classroom across the nation, companies are looking to make your life easier. Here are a couple examples: QuizPoo (our tool) helps you instantly assess your student’s comprehension of a subject. Science360 has a collection of neat science videos, and ReadWriteThink, a tool to create crossword puzzles for your students. And there’s hundred more.

Once you’re back in school, everything is a whirlwind. You start falling asleep at 5:00pm when you get home from grading papers. Plus, dinner is nothing more than microwaved leftovers.

Don’t fall into this back-to-school slump. Start your school year off right. Use these tips to ease back into school life after your summer off.

Now, it’s time to turn it over to you. What tips do you have to make back-to-school time exciting?

Photo from flickr