Wednesday, August 27, 2014

5 Tips to Survive the Beginning of the School Year

Staff went back on Monday of this week. That means that this week has been full of meetings, professional development, schedule-making, paperwork, and definitely some stress. There is a lot of work that goes into the days leading up to greeting kids on the first day of school! I'm sharing some tips that will help you survive this time.

Tip #1: Talk to teachers! If you're returning to the school, it's a great way to reconnect and find out how their summers were. You can also use this time to find out which teachers have your students and   it gives you "face time" to start the year out on the right foot.

Tip #2: Ask about grade level schedules! Every school probably has a slightly different way of doing this, but you'll want to know when lunch/recess/specials are for each grade level to begin building your schedule.

Tip #3: Make planning easy for the first couple of weeks! Do some "getting to know you" activities or crafts and have fun welcoming your students back or meeting them if they're new to you. I have an easy (and inexpensive) craft called My Speech-O-Graphy, which will help you get to know your students AND remind them of their goals. Your students will be settling into new routines, so be mindful of that. There are tons of free activities on TpT - I just made a category of all my free items, so it's easier to find. Click here to be taken to those! Several would work for this time of year!

Tip #4: Think data! You'll want to think about gathering some baseline data. I have a free informal tool that will help you gather some preliminary data, but you'll want to check in on how students are doing on their IEP goals of course. 

Tip #5: Don't get attached to your schedule. As frustrating as it is, I find myself changing my schedule slightly throughout the year to accommodate new students, special events, personality differences, etc. It's a necessary evil of the job, but I try to just go with it!

Those are my tips for surviving back to school. How do YOU survive this crazy time of year?!

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