5 Hacks for the Beginning of the Year

It’s back to school! And you know what that means…not enough hours in the day! All of these five “hacks” are free ideas to help make the transition from summer mode to back to school mode a little bit easier.

1. I have learned the art of delegation and this is the first way you can get some of your life back…have parents help! I’m telling you, you have parents that are willing to help and WANT to help but some just aren’t able to physically be there. They WANT to help and sending home things that need to be cut out or put together is a great way to involve parents that can’t be there during the day.

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Laminate them and slice the opening so you can put things in there, and you have your own little helper.

Don’t send home things that you would be devastated to lose.

All you have to do is print off one of the following template, glue it to the folder, laminate it and find some helpers!

Click on the link and/or the picture below and you have a few options to pick from. After you download the PDF, there should be a space for you to type your name.

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2. As you are teaching rules and procedures, a great way to help students visualize where you want things to go is to take a picture of the area that looks how you wish it would all the time. This helps so much so you aren’t having to constantly ask students to “clean up”. The puzzle area might be just perfectly clean in their minds. When they have a visual to go by, they are much more likely to have it cleaned without you having to go behind them to clean up or having to do step by step every time for them.

3.  One of my favorite ways to get supplies organized is to let parents do it themselves. I put the supplies in the hall and use boxes that inevitably come with the start of school and use a post it note and tape so all of my markers, paper, scissors, glue…etc. is ready to be set out for the first day of school. Ain’t nobody got time to organize folders by color.

4. Make your life easier by using these forms of social media to communicate with parents! It will save you so much time and will help you and parents stay sane for those first couple of weeks! 

This is a safe way to send text reminders without having to give out your #.

I use sign up genius for conferences, snack sign-ups, volunteers, and class parties.

This is a safe way to create a web-site for your classroom!

5. I know you aren’t planning to be out at any point of the year and what kind of teacher are you if you miss a day!?

But, life happens and it will happen. Two years ago I got kicked in the face with the flu and I was out for 7 school days. I was not planning on getting the flu and missing that much time with my kids, but I had prepared a sub tub at the beginning of the year with emergency plans for a week. Mine didn’t look fancy, but here are a few examples of what it could look like. Everyone on the team made them and we all knew where each other kept them so if a sub came in, we weren’t scrambling around for each other. It takes a little preparation ahead of time, but you know how the saying goes…better to have it and not need it rather than to not have it and need it.

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 I know everyone is running ragged if you have started back already, so I hope that one or more of these ideas will help you with your back to school forever long to do list and you find some time to relax during this crazy time!