I don’t know about you, but I feel like this summer has flown by. I can’t believe that it is already August. I walked into Target the other day and was slapped upside the head with the school supply section. I was shocked it was already out…but I shouldn’t have been. LOL! We have already been in school WITH students for a week. I decided to get smart this year and prepare just a bit early. What did I do that I am now thanking my past self for? ALL THIS:
Meet the Teacher
Think about all of the forms you will need for the Meet the Teacher event. Ours is the week before school begins. Students and parents can see their classroom and briefly meet the teacher. We use this to have parents fill out information as well. Some examples of the forms could be parent information, student information, bus information/ way home the first week and then beyond, and volunteer requests. You don’t need to have all of these copied yet- just the masters ready for when the copier is open. If you are looking for some parent forms, check out these in my store. I have several themes available and some parts of it are editable!
Speaking of Meet the Teacher, you might also want to prep any “extras” for this event. For example, each year our class does a “Me Bag.” This is a brown paper lunch bag students take home and fill with about 5 things so they can tell about themselves. I staple a short paragraph of directions to the front of the bag. This FREE Me Bag by Mrs. Teachergarten is adorable! I have sent this home during Meet the Teacher or even the first day of school. It is up to you on when to send it. However, it is super easy to prep during the summer!
Another fun extra to prep ahead of time is a sweet gesture of a small gift for attending Meet the Teacher. I have given away bags of popcorn with labels that say “Thanks for popping in!” and bags of goldfish that say “You are O-fish-ally in X grade!” You can find lots of FREE ideas for these with printable tags on TpT. Check out this adorable one from the The Applicious Teacher!
Happy Birthday to YOU!
I have done lots of things to celebrate student’s birthday. Some years I have done a sticker and crown. Other years I have done a certificate and a “birthday bag” with treats. Last year during the pandemic we did nothing other than sing happy birthday. It was a crazy year. If you do something like a birthday bag, go ahead and fill the bags now and have a class set ready. It can include a pencil, ring pop, and a small toy or sticker (think Oriental Trading Company!).
I also try my best to get organized in advanced in any way that I can. I try to go ahead and start to fill in my calendar. Although I may not have all the exact dates for school events, I do have access to a district wide calendar. This gives me information about breaks, work days, early release days, and even when report cards go home. Having these marked in advanced is just one more thing checked off my to do list.
I am also a big binder fan. I have a binder I use for data collection (I will have another post dedicated to this) and another for meetings. I go ahead and get the binder set up. It is no big deal- just clean it out from the previous year, add in notebook paper for notes, and update any dividers. I usually just have three dividers: staff meetings, other meetings, and reference. We rolled out a new program last year for special education IEPs (SO much fun during a pandemic- gah!) and I had lots of direction pages stored in the reference section from trainings.
Now there are LOTS more things you can do to prepare ahead of time. These are just some easy things that can be done from home while watching TV. Do you have any tips to add?
Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught Kindergarten- 4th grades in both the general education and inclusion settings. She is currently a 1st grade Special Education teacher. She is the owner and creator of Mandy’s Tips for Teachers website (www.mandystipsforteachers.com) and has over 13 years of teaching experience. She is married with two beautiful children.