08 Aug Five Back-to-School Tips for Teachers
Students aren’t the only ones gearing up to go back to school soon, teachers are also getting ready for a new year with new students. While kids are returning to school with their own hopes and worries, teachers have an entirely different set of concerns as summer ends. We’ve put together the following list of tips to help keep teacher’s minds at ease.
Create Parent Partnerships
By utilizing the internet, there are lots of ways for parents to stay involved in their students’ academic lives. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt recommends parents to; create a blog, publish newsletters, or make a classroom website. Using technology can help bridge gaps in communication and keep parents informed.
Design Your Learning Space
Another recommendation from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is to make sure your classroom is inclusive to as many students as possible. For example, if your classroom walls are covered in posters, and you find that some of your students are easily distracted by bright decorations, try removing some and instead focus on an environment that encourages participation and interaction.
Use a Smile to Start the Day
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to unconsciously begin your day with a negative attitude. Smiles are contagious, so if your students see you smiling, chances are they’ll soon be smiling too.
No matter what a student’s home environment is like, teachers have an opportunity to cultivate a safe space, where students always feel valued and comfortable in their classroom. Next time you’re having a challenging day, force a smile! According to a research study in the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal, “if you smile, the world will smile back to you”. Faking a smile has a positive impact on your own emotions and those in your company.
Assign Seats Before School Starts
The first day of school is always hectic, so getting little things out of the way beforehand is going to help you. Another recommendation from the NEA is to assign seats and create a seating chart before school starts. Not only will it be easier for you to learn your students’ names, but it will prevent kids from saving seats for their friends, which can exclude others.
Share Your Teaching Story
The first day of school is filled with icebreakers, so why not introduce yourself in a different way? Instead of telling students your name and what you teach, try the NEA’s advice and tell your students about what inspired you to become a teacher. It helps your students get to know you in a different way than they’d expect.
So, as summer keeps winding down and students and teachers prepare to return to school for the year, keep these tips in mind for your best year yet with students. And good luck with the new school year!