Besides parents and students, teachers also have to prepare themselves for a new school year. With a new school year comes new lessons, and the need to find new ways to engage students. So elementary school teachers, here are a few awesome back-to-school tips and resources we found, just for you!
The great thing about being a teacher in 2016 is the wealth of resources that are available online. Tips are readily available, and all it takes is a little research to find the right information. Still, before you get back into the routine, it’s best to have a plan in place. That’s why a checklist is a great starting point. This checklist is fantastic for teachers to create the right foundation for classes that will last throughout the school year. From here, you’ll see why every little detail matters in the classroom. It discusses everything from creating a conducive environment for learning to engage frequently with parents of your students.
Teacher and blogger Angela Watson’s website is a popular resource for teachers, particularly in terms of her Growth Mindset tips. The idea is to ensure students are open-minded and optimistic upon entering the classroom, instead of fretful or nervous. Using guides like these can help teachers to eradicate several problems before it is much too late.
Printables are a teacher’s best friend. Although there are some printables that are purchasable, there are also many available for free, like these, courtesy of Scholastic. Alternatively, this website also has many printables, ranging from lesson plans to printables that make the classroom fun for kids. Printables are a helpful addition to any classroom, as they offer alternative ways of learning, and are often presented in a visual manner that is very appealing to kids. Use them as homework sheets or within the classroom itself. It is really up to the teacher to decide what’s best for the kids, but the immediacy of printables makes them an excellent choice for any educator to have in their arsenal.
A Personal Assistant…Or Something Like One
Let’s face it, teaching is no easy feat. It is completely understandable that many teachers wish they could have an assistant to help them through time-consuming tasks so they can better focus on other aspects of their craft. Thankfully, there are free apps out there like ClassDojo, that support not only teachers but parents and students as well. Digitalization of the classroom allows for more active participation and transparency. Our very own Zap Zap Math has similar features that can support a teacher, particularly with the Web Dashboard in place. Teachers and parents can use it as a collaborative space to understand the Math challenges faced by their students/children.
Sometimes teachers need a break from all the paperwork, which is where videos come in. If you need an additional boost of inspiration, these videos will certainly help. The start of a new school year is often stressful and challenging, so always remember how vital your role is as a teacher, and the potential the kids have with your guidance. In fact, reminders are everywhere, in songs and even in movies like Lord of the Rings. So when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, tune in to one of these videos and remember that you play an important part in this.
Special Needs Resources
Teachers who have students with special needs may need to make modifications and improvisations to their lesson plans, so it’s always important to understand the various ways in which children learn. The best teachers always anticipate unique situations, and thankfully there are many resources available to support teachers in this respect. Referring to reliable sources that are able to impart knowledge to differently-abled students in a respectful and caring manner is extremely important, and is something parents and students alike will appreciate. This results in a more comfortable situation for all parties involved, and can really help the child in question to build confidence and learn more effectively.
Math of course, is a topic close to our hearts, and we understand the challenges faced by teachers when a new school year begins and you need to get back into the familiar routine of preparing your students for new formulas and calculations. This helpful piece highlights ways to ease kids back into math lessons without overwhelming them, and includes clever tips like reminders to stock up on good quality stationery. Alternatively, this source has wonderfully unique ways to kickstart math habits after the summer vacation, by getting kids to perceive math in fun ways. That’s definitely an idea we’re onboard with!
If you’re looking for something a little more general, then this link should do the trick. It’s a wonderful page that lists out many different “packs” of information. It’s even available in languages other than English, making it internationally useful. Additionally, NBC listed a range of free lesson plans from various sources, which include face-to-face tutoring in some areas, and virtual tutoring as well. Check out the list in its entirety here to find something that’s suitable. This particular website was created by teachers for teachers, and functions as an online marketplace where educators can buy and sell content worldwide.
Teachers, how do you prep yourselves before a new school year? Share your tips with us in the comments!