You can simplify and streamline your back-to-school week by doing a few easy tasks over the summer.
Check out these ways to prep for the new school year over the lazy days of summer.
Summer Prep for the New School Year
The summer is a break from school–and you need that!
But you can do a few simple tasks to make your back-to-school prep run much more smoothly.
However, I would really encourage you not to neglect your summer family bucket list or plans in favor of school work.
Take time to be present with your family!
Then after that…here are some prep things you can do.
Get Rid of What You No Longer Use
The beginning of the summer is the best time to do this first task: throw stuff away.
You might be a saver, so this step may be painful for you.
But it’s important to clean out your books, supplies, and materials so that setup is easier in the fall.
If you think someone else may benefit from your castoffs, donate them.
Otherwise, throw away what you don’t absolutely need for the upcoming year.
Remember, if you didn’t use it this year, you likely won’t use it in the next.
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Clean Bins and Buckets
In the fall, you will want to start fresh. That means giving your used items a polish.
Clean out your bins and buckets (or whatever you use to store items).
Remove the clutter or the thrown-in materials. Wipe down your bins to remove the dust and grime.
Start with an empty slate.
Put New Labels on Bins and Buckets
Once you’ve gotten rid of your excess materials and cleaned out your bins, you can think about how to utilize them to store your materials.
You may fall on your time-tested ways of organizing, or you may want to try something new.
Whichever the case, make brand-new labels for your bins and buckets.
This restores them to that like-new look.
Print Out Bulletin Board Decor and Prep
Changing your bulletin boards throughout the year can energize your students and beautify your classroom.
But it can easily get swept under the rug when the busyness of school is underway.
The summer is the perfect time to plan and prep your bulletin boards throughout the year.
You can print and laminate the bulletin board materials so they are ready to go when you need them. You can store them in pocket folders, so none of the items fall out.
We’ve got bulletin board ideas for every season of the school year. Check out these to start:
Organize Your Classroom Library
If you have a classroom library, now is the time to organize your books.
Sort the books into the categories you want.
Set aside seasonal books to put out at various times of the year.
Repair any damaged books you can salvage (or put them on the list to reorder if they are beyond saving). Give away books you don’t need.
Make a wish list of books you want for next year.
Prep Materials for Centers and Independent Work Stations
Like bulletin boards, your centers are places that benefit from regular refreshing.
It can be challenging to do that during the hubbub of the school year.
Plan ahead and gather your materials over the summer.
You can print, laminate, and label your centers now, so you can simply pull them out during the year.
Plan Out Your Morning Routine at School
Those first few moments of the school day are pivotal and often unstructured.
The students file in, put away their backpacks, sit at their desks, and then what?
Think intentionally about how you will utilize that time in the next school year.
You don’t have to be Christopher Plummer from The Sound of Music (remember the whistle?).
For more ideas on how to create a morning routine that works, check out this article.
Organize Materials You Brought Home
You likely took home some materials from your classroom. Don’t leave them in a pile in your garage.
Sort through what you brought home. Clean out what you don’t need. Organize what you do need.
Fill In Your Family Calendar
As a teacher, the struggle for work-life balance is real.
If you don’t put a priority on your family life, your work will consume that time.
Start with a blank calendar for the upcoming school year.
Fill in as much as you can now with your family and personal time.
Plan the dates of your family getaways, your celebrations, and your date nights.
You will find it easier to work around existing plans in the school year than to spontaneously carve out time.
Start a Self-Care Routine
This is last but not least. No list of prep for the new school year would be complete without you preparing yourself.
As a teacher, you are a natural giver. This means you will work tirelessly for others and often put yourself last.
That is not sustainable.
This year, resolve to take care of yourself. Don’t just make a plan; start the plan!
Start journaling now. Talk a walk in the morning or after dinner. Get a massage once a month (and make your appointments for the fall right now!).
It is easier to continue self-care into the school than to start a new self-care routine in the rush of back to school.
Summer Prep for Back to School Makes Life Easier
No one is suggesting you sacrifice your summer vacation.
Spend a few days organizing your classroom supplies, work for 30 minutes a day on advance planning, and then put your feet up!
You deserve a summer break. Just include some time for prep for the new school year.
It will make your back to school time much less stressful!