The new school year is upon us—for some sooner than others. I received my annual “Welcome Back” letter from my district superintendent, reminding me that my summer is coming quickly to a close. Alas, no more lazing around in my slippers all day, taking the kids to the pool, or impromptu lunch dates with friends. While I long for more lazy summer days, I am anxious to get back into my regular routine.
I always feel like I’ve lost touch with reality a bit during the summer. I spend a lot of time reading for pleasure and not a lot of time keeping up with my profession. A great luxury of teaching, especially as I watch my husband (begrudgingly) get ready for work each day.
So if you’re like me you likely don’t feel quite ready to meet your class of smiling faces in a few short weeks. But that doesn’t mean that this summer—you know, the one when you’ll finally get organized or learn that new classroom management trick—is lost. Take these last few weeks to jump back in before it’s too late!
- Touch base. Nothing makes me feel more out-of-the loop than missing all those e-mails during the summer. If you have access, check your district inbox. Delete all the spam and respond to any critical messages.
- Visit. School and district administrators typically work all summer. If you are in town, stop by and say hi. If possible, spend a little time in your classroom rearranging desks and unpacking boxes. You’ll have a leg up on the other teachers sharing your hallway.
- Do some reading. A lot has happened in education over the summer—starting and ending with budgets. Read up on what’s going on in your state so when parents bring up the topic you’ll be knowledgeable.
- Start planning. You may not have the resources available on-hand, but you can still begin planning your year. Education World offers some great advice for first- and second-year teachers or check out some great reads, including Teaching Outside the Box by LouAnne Johnson and The First Six Weeks of School by Roxann Kriete and Lynn Bechtel.
- Meet. Those few days back before your students arrive are hectic and packed with school- and district-level meetings. Try to get in touch with your grade level team ahead of time to talk about lesson planning, classroom management, and other issues.
Of course, most of us still have a few weeks left. Enjoy them. Once they’re over you have about 10 months before your next long, lazy summer.