R is for “regroup”. It’s time for school to start again soon and past time for me to get my…stuff together! When a new school year starts, I find myself doing a lot of things that start with “r” that are probably helpful for all teachers to keep in mind when getting back into the swing of things:
#Refresh material to make it relevant and current (whether that be in my calendar, dates on assignments, google site, blackboard, templates, etc.)
#Reuse Don’t reinvent the wheel! Reuse decorations, examples of student projects, lessons (that went well…tweak it to make it a little better/different), the same template for that back to school night presentation. Keep an open mind and don’t make things more difficult than they need to be.
#Reorganize electronic files. Your desktop (on your computer, but also . Your external hard drive (if you don’t have one of these-GET ONE!). Your web browser bookmarks-put them in folders by sub-topic and rename them so you know exactly what they are. A great resource for web bookmarks/resources is called Symbaloo. Use folders on your computer desktop so that you can find things quickly and easily.
#ReduceClutter. No need to elaborate on this, but…if in doubt: throw it out. If in serious doubt: scan it and save to a thumb drive (save the file with something identifiable so you don’t have to open the file to know what it is), then throw out the paper.
#Reply to emails…catch up from what was put off (if you’re like me, for probably the whole summer)
#Recollect lessons learned from previous lessons, years, etc. When I say #LessonsLearned I mean by you…not what your students learned. When you actually delivered a lesson..how’d it go? Because it my experience, it rarely (if ever) goes according to plan. Be creative and learn from your own experience.
#Routine Get back into it. If you make a little progress, and a little more each day than you did the last, life (and the school year) will be a heck of a lot easier than trying to unpack and set up your entire classroom in a day.
#Realistic see above. also, although summer is often a time for taking advantage of professional development opportunities and learning exciting an new strategies, activities, etc. to use in the classroom #remember that it’s impossible to do everything. try 1 thing at a time (maybe 1 a month to start with, or even 1 a quarter). Do not overwhelm yourself by trying to do it all. As I have to often remind myself: It’s. Not. Possible.
#Remember why you became a teacher. Know your “why”, because it’s important and will keep you going, as you experience the rollercoaster of emotions that the school year always brings. (If you haven’t experienced this since your first year of teaching, good on ya! and please let me know how you do it!).
#Reinvigorate your passion for teaching. If you’re struggling with this one, refer to my post from last year Back to School! with motivational videos to inspire you and make you laugh. Browse some TED Talks Education, read some #pd books, watch videos by REAL teachers like the “sweaty teacher”.
#Realize the impact that you have made in the past and will undoubtedly make this year and for a lifetime. Build relationships and rapport with your students, because in the wise words of Rita Pierson, “Every kid needs a champion“.
#Readyornot here we go! If it hasn’t already, the new school year will be staring VERY soon. Put your game face on. Kids are like animals…they sense fear. Be confident because we can do this and even if you’re not ready…#fakeittilyoumakeit
#Reward yourself. We work hard. We make a difference. We make an impact. Every. Single. Day. We don’t make millions, but everyone deserves any occasion to #treatyoself (if you haven’t seen this episode of Parks and Rec please watch it…hilarious).