Ace these assignments before heading back to class. School may be out for summer, but we’d be lying if we said we’re not already thinking of the upcoming schoolyear. We’re in prime mode to reflect on the past four quarter’s glories and blunders, and our thoughts are turning to how we can better ourJun 28, 2017
Ace these assignments before heading back to class.
School may be out for summer, but we’d be lying if we said we’re not already thinking of the upcoming schoolyear. We’re in prime mode to reflect on the past four quarter’s glories and blunders, and our thoughts are turning to how we can better ourselves for a fresh crop of students.
Wondering how you can use your summer to get ahead for fall — without even knowing who will be on your roster? Here are our top sanity-savers to plot now and enjoy later.
1. Nix Your Time-Wasters.
From August to May, we can all use more hours in each day. This summer, take time to analyze your classroom’s systems and routines and pinpoint where you bleed unnecessary time. Maybe it’s after the final bell, grading student essays, or collecting and documenting data. Maybe your minutes are lost during the day’s classroom procedures and transitions. Pause and consider why you run things the way you do. Is it because it’s the way it’s always been done? Because it’s the way your neighbor does it? Is there a more effective way? Plug these time-leaks for next year by devising new systems, redesigning how to teach and model expectations, and setting yourself up for success before day one arrives.
2. Organize Your File Cabinet.
Teach for a few years and you will find that you have an overwhelming number of tools in your shed — and that many of them are just fine or never used or perhaps not even effective. Spend some summer energy cleaning up your digital files. File hoarders, take a deep breath: This does mean you will need to fill up that trash can icon. If you don’t love it, toss it, or pass it on to someone who might. Next up, scrutinize your organization scheme. If your desktop is one giant Arizona tumbleweed of files, design a system that works for you. And if you’re not using Dropbox or Google Drive or another cloud-based storage service — get on it. These tools not only serve as a back up for your documents, they make collaboration a breeze and allow you to access your materials from the web and mobile devices.
3. Gather Rockstar Resources.
You may not yet know the names of your students, but chances are you know what topics and standards you’re teaching and can map out your school year. Instead of stressful night-befores spent throwing something together for the next day, dedicate some of this season’s downtime to scouring blogs and Pinterest, pestering colleagues, or browsing TeachersPayTeachers for fresh, engaging, and effective resources.