As summer begins to wind down, it’s time to gear up for the new school year. Hopefully you’ve had a relaxing summer, and are ready for a fresh, positive start. To ensure a successful school year, it’s important that you, your students and their parents are working together from day one. As a teacher, you know this isn’t always the easiest task. Whether your goal is to inspire your students, spark new academic interests, form better bonds with your students or get parents more involved, check out our innovative tips/ideas to help start your school year off right.
Share Words of Wisdom
Sharing inspiring quotes is an easy way to get students motivated and thinking. Start by making a list of quotes that inspire you. Seek out quotes specific to a variety of topics. Once you have your list of quotes, incorporate them into the décor of your classroom, so students will constantly see the inspiring words. You can also use them as writing prompts to begin each day.
Students typically don’t have an interest in reading, especially in their own free time. Often teachers feel like its just one more task that they’ll never actually get around to completing. Fostering a love for reading in students in a digital world is nearly an impossible task. At the start of the school year, initiate a classroom-reading plan that offers students initiatives to read. For example: A “bonus reading” time. Every student should bring something to read that’s content is appropriate for school, whether it’s a novel, magazine, etc. Periodically announce it’s “bonus reading time.” Award the students who are prepared with a book a “bonus point.” Even if you conduct a weekly “bonus reading” time, the extra point won’t drastically affect their overall grade, but it will help them be more enthusiastic about reading.
Build Relationships with Students’ Parents
Communicating with parents can be challenging, especially beyond the necessary call homes for issues with behavior or grades. Set a goal this year to find ways to increasing positive communication with parents about positive things that are happening in the classroom. In the beginning of the school year, invite parents to tell you about their child by sending a letter home on the first day of school asking parents to write back and share anything they would like you to know about their child.
Make it a point this school year to make periodical brag calls or emails to parents. Due to time constraints, teachers typically only communicate with parents when something is going wrong. Brag calls not only help teacher and parents connect, but they also encourage students.
Connect with Students
Establishing connections with students will typically increase the productivity and overall environment of the classroom. However, building relationships with student can be difficult between preparing the next lesson, grading assignments and prepping for tests. Plan daily personal interactions with students. For example, make it a point to greet students at the door each morning or say goodbye at the end of the day.
Be conscious of how you interact with students. Periodically throughout the school year keep the class list or seating chart in front of you as you teach. Keep track of each student you speak to during class. You may notice patterns in the students you interact with, and once you are aware, consider how you might want to change them to encourage more students to get involved.
Start the new school year off right with specific goals for both yourself and your classroom. Make it a point to stay on track to fulfill them and continuously seek new opportunities to encourage your students.