Raise your hand if you can’t believe how quickly Summer 2021 zipped by. Okay, put your hand down. Now, raise your hand if getting back to the ‘normal’ routine of a school year seems like a crazy concept because it feels as though we haven’t even had a normal routine in 100 years. Put your hand down again. We could go on and on, but let’s jump in…
For those of us in education, the beginning of a new school year almost always begins with mixed emotions ranging from eager anticipation, to overwhelming anxiety, and everything in between.
Regardless of your own typical back-to-school emotions, this school year likely feels unique as, together, we gingerly step into a ‘new normal’. All of this makes polishing up our back-to-school routines, perhaps with some new twists, all the more important!
Here are a few things you can do to rock the new school year, inside and outside of the classroom!
- Put yourself in the shoes of your students, particularly your newcomers. Remember that if we as adults are having a case of the ‘back to school scaries’, the kids likely do, as well. Be ready to give grace (yes, I said it) to all of your students and families as they reacquaint themselves with school and classroom expectations.
- Know your schedule. If you really knew what day it was and whether you were coming or going over the last 18 months, you’re a step ahead of most people! Find a school-year calendar (some people swear by a good old fashioned wall calendar, some folks prefer digital planners) and enter as many upcoming events from your personal and professional life that you’re able to. Things may change, but you’ll begin to have some idea of what your school year looks like at a glance.
- Have achievable daily goals. This applies to school AND to home. And the word ‘achievable’ isn’t meant to be taken lightly. Believe me, we all want to jump in with both feet, but when we’re too rigid with the to-do list, we run the risk of driving ourselves (and our colleagues and students) a bit batty. Remember a general plan or checklist for each day is good, but it has to move with life. Things are going to come up, so stay fluid and flexible!
- Celebrate. Listen, in one way or another, we’re all navigating through a pretty momentous time in history and we’re all coming through it, otherwise we wouldn’t be standing here today reading this article (well, I’m actually sitting but you get the gist). Before fully settling into the new school year, take time to celebrate what is, in many ways, a new beginning. Fit in that last day-trip to the beach or one more night of watching the fireflies while eating a s’more under the stars.
GrapeSEED recognizes the value of incorporating the above recommendations for adults and for students! Want to learn how we’ve incorporated keeping children’s anxiety level low, following a well-designed lesson plan that allows for flexibility and daily goals, as well as celebrating student success into our English language acquisition curriculum?