I think teachers favorite time of the year is the beginning of the school year. We’re all well rested, motivated, and ready to go! We spend our last summer days hitting Target’s Dollar Spot or rolling down the aisles of Dollar Tree. We spend hours on Pinterest looking for ways to decorate our classrooms. But how many of us stop and reflect on the previous school year? I use to get so caught up in the newness of the school year I didn’t analyze what went well and what needed improvement. Honestly, I would forget what I did and started from scratch each year. If slow down to stop and think about how we can make this school year better, we will have a much more successful school year. Here are three simple ways you can get ready for this school year.
Think About What Went Well Last School Year And What Did Not
At the beginning of the school year, I like to stop and think about my strengths and weaknesses. If I did something that worked really well last school year, I make sure I do it again this year. If something didn’t work as well as I thought it should have, I’d see how I can tweak it to make it better or not do it at all. What did you do that helped your kiddos grow? What did you do that didn’t improve their growth. How can you fix a routine to make it more effective? Answer these questions to help you work smarter this school year!
Pick One Thing to Focus on This School Year
This school year, I want to increase my parent communication. Last year I started a new district, school, and grade level, so, my focus was just surviving. Now that I have it mostly figured out (lol), I want to make sure my parent communication is top notch. Now it’s your turn, think about something you can improve this school year. If you’re having trouble thinking of something off the top of your head, take a look at your summative evaluation and see where you scored the lowest. Working on your weaknesses will not only make you a stronger teacher, but it will also make you look good to your administration. You’re using their feedback to make improvements, and they will love that!
After Analyzing the Previous School Year, Let it Go
After you analyze what went well and what did not go well last year, let it go. Even if it was the best school year you ever had, let it go. It is a brand new year, and you shouldn’t expect to have the same year as you did before. Holding on to the previous year can lead to frustration, especially if your new class isn’t as high as your last class. Or you can begin the school year defeated because you had the lowest test scores in your grade level last year. By not letting go of the previous school year, you could be starting the school year off with negative vibes. Let it all go. This is the one thing I love about teaching. No school year is the same, and you always have an opportunity to start over.
We spend most of our first weeks back at school decorating, in meetings, anxiously waiting for a class list, but rarely do we spend time getting mentally prepared for the school year. Being reflective about the last school year will help you have an even better school year than the one before. Focusing on one area improvement will help you become an expert! Letting go of the previous school year will help you leave behind useless expectations and bad memories, making space for your new kiddos. This school year will be your best yet. To ensure you have the best school year grab my Free Back to School Guide! This guide has everything you need to make sure you’re ready to start the school year strong.