Preparation Tips for the New School Year

A back-to-basics review to prepare you for a smooth and memorable first day of school.

By Rachel D


Teacher at desk

It’s that time of year again! Summer feels as though it has flown by, and there are only a few days left until school starts. If the school year has crept up on you, fear not. Here are a few tips to help you gear up.

Reflect and Readjust

After summer's rest and relaxation, now is the time for a different kind of R and R: reflect and readjust. This R and R means thinking about changes you would like to make, while easing into your school-year routine

  • Slowly start waking up earlier. It's time to say goodbye to those lazy mornings.
  • Put on your game face and get dressed. Unfortunately you can't wear pajamas or a swimsuit to work!
  • Eat a good breakfast; something that will keep you full and energetic until recess.
  • Leave the house with enough time to get to work. Even if it’s not yet time to cross the line, do something in the morning to practice your early morning departure schedule. Run an errand or meet a friend.

Organize and Plan

Now that it is officially time to switch from summer days to school days, take that final step over the threshold and re-enter your classroom. If you took some time this summer to prep for the school year, bravo! Use this time to review the organization of your classroom and curriculum. Don't forget to check what’s inside your cabinets. Do you need to do some more prepping? Try the following tips:

  • Visit the Lesson Planet's Back-To-School Guide for many great ideas.
  • Switch-up your yearly routine by collecting new and exciting lesson ideas and worksheets from the Lesson Planet Curriculum Calendar.
  • Get ready to organize those piles of paper by creating sets of individual student folders for each subject area.
  • Review your teaching philosophy. Take some time to reflect on educational philosophies and create or revise your own. Print your philosophy on a sheet of paper and display it at your desk to remind yourself each day.
  • Not happy with the flow of your classroom? Re-arrange desks, chairs, cabinets, and tables in anticipation of 20+ more bodies roaming around. Make sure your arrangement promotes learning and minimizes distraction.
  • Create a an informational packet to send home to parents on the first day of school. This can include a letter of introduction, your teaching philosophy, classroom and school policies, schedules, and study tips.
  • Visit your coworkers. Spend some time catching up with your colleagues. Remember to introduce yourself to new coworkers as well. 

Anticipate the First Day

The clock has ticked and the bell has rung; the first day of school is here! This day can be an emotional, hectic, and sometimes crazy. But, don’t let thoughts of the first day bring you down. Use these tips and reminders to ensure a smooth transition:

  • Get to school early.
  • Be over prepared.
  • Create and post a schedule.
  • Gather a list of icebreaker activities.
  • Take some time to meet parents.
  • Greet each student and provide him/her with a name tag.
  • Start using and learning names ASAP.
  • Explain classroom procedures and policies.
  • You are the teacher, make it known!

Prepare with Worksheets

Here is a list of back-to-school worksheets you can use.