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How Teachers Can Prep Over Summer: 10 Tips for an Easier Back-to-School Start

Updated: Jul 5

First and foremost, every teacher deserves to enjoy the downtime and relaxation that summer break brings. It's a crucial time to recharge and unwind after a busy school year.


However, taking just a little bit of time this summer to prepare a few key things can make the transition back to school smoother and less stressful. In this blog post, we'll explore ten simple yet effective strategies that will help you start the new school year with confidence and ease.


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Here are 10 EASY things you can do this summer to make Back-to-School a little less stressful:


  1. Create or update your “Meet the Teacher” letter.  Did you know that Canva has pre-made templates for this! (I’m not sponsored… just a big fan!) I recently created my own letter by combining elements from a couple different templates, and now I can check that off my list. I even printed them, so they are ready to go. 


Meet the Teacher Letter

2. Print. Cut. Laminate.  Speaking of printing, summer is a great time to get those printing, cutting, and laminating tasks done in a comfortable spot while a favorite show is playing in the background! I like to prep labels, bulletin board elements, task cards, student name plates, etc. 


3. Organize Digital Files. I do my best to keep my digital files organized in folders, but if you’re anything like me, the files need a little organization once in a while. This could include going through your Google Drive, and moving individual files into folders.  You could also set up new digital folders for the school year, and sort them by subject (Math 2024-2025) or file type (STEM Centers 2024-2025). Did you know you can even color code those google folders?! Even if you just get the folders and templates created, that is a step that will save you time for back-to-school. 


TIP: Look through your previous files, and see what you already have created or downloaded. I’m always surprised at what I have in there, that I might have forgotten about!


Google Sheets is another way to set up your plans, links, and schedule for the upcoming school year.


4. Purchase and prep things like: student welcome gifts, student birthday gifts, class sets of materials. Here are some examples:


Student Welcome Gifts: 



Student Birthday Gifts:

(I like to make a little set and give one of each of these three items)


Class Sets:


 


5. Prepare organization materials. You don’t necessarily need to organize everything this summer, but get ready by making sure you have containers to organize when you are ready. 



First, check to see what you already have (boxes, bins, bags, supply caddies). Then, check the condition of these containers. If they need to be replaced, get them now so that you aren’t stressed when it’s time to get everything ready!


Here are some organization favorites:

Mesh Zipper Pouch Bags (Multiple sizes)

Book Bins (These are very sturdy, and ON SALE last time I checked!) 

Supply Caddies (You can also find these at Dollar Tree)

Small Clear Plastic Supply Boxes (Perfect for STEM materials)

Sterilite Medium Clip Storage Boxes (Very durable & stackable)


6. Download Back-to-School Activities. The first couple of weeks of school are so important for setting expectations, team-building, and getting to know each other. Those types of activities are not always in a standard curriculum. 


Save time by using some of the Back-to School Lessons and Activities that I’ve already created for you! Download them now, and thank yourself later. 🙂





7. Buy a planner. Notice I didn’t say “PLAN” over the summer necessarily! Just buy the planner, and have it ready to go. This is the one I just grabbed on Amazon:



8. Check Thrift Stores & Used Book Stores: Next time you pass by a thrift store or used book store, pop in and see if they have any books or games that you can add to your classroom for a VERY low cost! Sometimes local libraries also have a used book store section that you could check out. You never know what you’ll find!


9. Explore new ideas. I have a whole library of short blog posts that might ignite some ideas or inspiration! They are all fairly short reads (3-5 minutes each). Here are a few examples:





10. Self-Care. Prepare yourself mentally and physically by scheduling time to do things that bring you joy, happiness, and relaxation. This might be the most important thing you do this summer, so if you only do one thing….do this.


Here are some ideas:

  • Spa Day

  • Watercolor Painting Class

  • Mini-Vacation (or LONG vacation!)

  • Swimming

  • Stand-up Paddle Boarding

  • Yoga

  • Pickleball

  • Meditation

  • Read

  • Pooltime / Beachtime

  • Hiking

  • Bath/ Hot tub relaxation


I’d love to hear your “Summer Prep” ideas! Please share them in the comment section. 


As summer winds down, taking a few simple steps to prepare for the upcoming school year can make all the difference. By organizing a few things, getting some items ready, and taking care of yourself, you'll set yourself up for a smooth and successful transition back to school. Remember, a little preparation now can lead to a more enjoyable and productive school year ahead. So, enjoy your well-deserved break, and when you're ready, start implementing these strategies to make the back-to-school season easier and more exciting. 


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