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What to ACTUALLY Focus on to Get Ahead Over Summer Break as a Teacher

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Summer break is a crucial time for educators to recharge, reflect, and prepare for the upcoming school year. Whether you’re a seasoned teacher or stepping into your first classroom, knowing where to focus your energy during this time can make all the difference. In this blog post, we’ll explore five key areas to prioritize in order to get ahead over summer break as a teacher.

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Classroom Management:

When it comes to setting up for success in the classroom, effective classroom management is paramount. Many new teachers may be tempted to spend their summer break focusing solely on decorating their classroom or brainstorming fun activities. While these elements are important, they pale in comparison to the importance of establishing strong classroom management practices from the outset.

During your summer break, take the time to reflect on your past experiences with classroom management. Consider what worked well and what didn’t. Did you struggle with maintaining student attention? Were there specific procedures that seemed unclear or ineffective?

Once you’ve reflected on your past experiences, set clear goals for improvement. Identify three to five key areas of focus for the upcoming school year. This could include establishing clear expectations and procedures for transitions, implementing effective strategies for managing disruptive behavior, or building positive relationships with students.

One effective strategy for improving classroom management is to focus on building relationships with your students from day one. Greeting students warmly each morning, engaging in meaningful conversations, and taking an interest in their interests outside of school can help foster a sense of trust and respect in the classroom.

Additionally, consider the procedures you want to teach your students and when you plan to introduce them. Start with three to five key procedures and gradually add more as the year progresses. By setting clear expectations and teaching procedures consistently, you can create a positive and structured learning environment for your students.

Communication:

Effective communication is essential for fostering positive relationships with students, families, and colleagues. Take some time during your summer break to reflect on your communication practices from the previous school year. What communication methods worked well? What could be improved?

    Consider establishing consistent communication channels with families, such as weekly or monthly newsletters. Explore digital tools like ClassDojo to streamline communication and ensure that important information reaches parents in a timely manner.

    In addition to communicating with families, prioritize communication with colleagues and administrators. Establish regular check-ins with your team to ensure alignment and collaboration. Take advantage of tools like email labels and folders to stay organized and manage your inbox efficiently.

    Organization:

    A well-organized classroom sets the stage for a successful school year. Use your summer break to assess your current organizational systems and identify areas for improvement. Consider the layout of your classroom and how different areas can be optimized for efficiency and functionality.

      Take time to set up systems for managing paper and digital resources. Create folders and labels for different subjects, units, and skills to streamline your workflow and ensure that important materials are easily accessible when you need them.

      Consider the flow of your classroom and how different areas can be arranged to support learning and minimize distractions. Reflect on past experiences and identify areas where adjustments can be made to improve the overall organization of your classroom.

      Planning and Prepping:

      Effective planning and preparation are key to a successful school year. Take time during your summer break to map out your curriculum and identify which lessons you’ll cover each week. Use digital tools or a personal planner to create a schedule and set deadlines for lesson planning and preparation.

        Start by planning the first month of school in detail, including lesson objectives, activities, and materials needed. Break down your planning process into manageable steps and set aside dedicated time each week to work on lesson plans and prepare materials.

        Consider incorporating themed units or books into your curriculum to engage students and reinforce important skills and concepts. Use your summer break to gather resources and materials for these units, ensuring that you’re well-prepared to hit the ground running when the school year begins.

        Grading and Data:

        Finally, prioritize strategies for managing grading and data throughout the school year. Reflect on your past experiences with grading and identify areas where you can improve consistency and efficiency.

          Establish a consistent schedule for grading and inputting data, setting aside dedicated time each week to stay on top of these tasks. Consider using tools like digital gradebooks and spreadsheets to streamline the grading process and track student progress more effectively.

          Additionally, explore strategies for providing timely feedback to students and communicating progress with families. Consider implementing systems for tracking student data and identifying areas where additional support may be needed.

          Conclusion:

          Summer break presents a valuable opportunity for educators to prepare for the upcoming school year and set themselves up for success. By focusing on key areas such as classroom management, communication, organization, planning and prepping, and grading and data, teachers can ensure that they’re well-equipped to meet the needs of their students and create a positive and productive learning environment.

          As you embark on your summer break, remember to take time to reflect on your past experiences, set clear goals for improvement, and prioritize tasks that will have the greatest impact on your teaching practice. With thoughtful planning and preparation, you can set yourself up for a successful and fulfilling school year ahead.

          Remember:

          Not sure what to ask at the end of your teacher interview?

Here we break down 10 questions to ask the hiring committee at the end of your teacher interview. PLUS possible red and green flag answers to keep an eye out for.

These teacher interview questions will help you confidently prepare for your upcoming teacher interview, discover the perfect district for you to work for, and know with confidence how to stand out during your next interview from other candidates.

          See you in the next one, teacher bestie!

          Love,

          Helena

          AKA

          Not sure what to ask at the end of your teacher interview?

Here we break down 10 questions to ask the hiring committee at the end of your teacher interview. PLUS possible red and green flag answers to keep an eye out for.

These teacher interview questions will help you confidently prepare for your upcoming teacher interview, discover the perfect district for you to work for, and know with confidence how to stand out during your next interview from other candidates.