As the month of July, with its lazy days and sultry nights begins its retreat, August is looming on the calendar. It's time to start thinking of heading back to school. I begin this ritual the first week of August every year and secretly I rather enjoy getting back into the routine. I start each year with thinking. Before I drift off to sleep at night I imagine the first day of school in my mind and begin a mental list of what needs to be done to prepare. I imagine students sitting in desks and me teaching and begin a mental checklist of what needs to be done to get ready. This eventually translates into a physical list which leads to me pulling my computer out, brushing aside the travel brochures and allowing my creative juices to start flowing. Soon I'll head in to the building and start decorating my classroom, mapping out my school year, and creating lesson plans. It all happens quickly now that August is here and I need that time to prepare myself mentally.
Most teachers have similar routines I'm sure. There is something that triggers it each summer, whether it be the adds in the newspaper on TV for back-to-school sales, turning the page on the calendar, that first email from the office about the new school year, or seeing that cute skirt in the window that would be just perfect for the first day of school.
Whether you are just starting your career as a new teacher or are heading back to the classroom for your twenty-fifth year, being prepared is key. Here are some great ideas to help you get started!