Back to School Tips & Tricks

It's that time again - Back-to-School! Are you ready for a new school year? If you're like me you spend the last few weeks of summer hunting for back-to-school deals, school supplies and fall clothes! I love to shop, so I don't mind braving the crowds. Over the years, I've found some great deals, time-saving tricks, and a few ways to make easing into a new school year a breeze. The hardest part of going back to school is getting myself and my kids back on a schedule and on regular routine!

Below, are few tips and tricks I've found to be useful during the hectic back-to-school time!

Teachers: Are you ready to go back to school? Here are some back-to-school tips, tricks, and freebies to make this time less hectic!1. First and foremost, I'm all about saving a few pennies! All those school supplies add up, so be sure to shop during your state's "tax-free" weekend. When you combine sales, coupons, and tax free savings you can really save a lot of money!

2. Start getting back on a schedule a few weeks before school starts back. It's hard to get up early when you've been sleeping in for the past 6-8 weeks. Make it easy on yourself and start setting your alarm a little earlier each day until you're back to your regular wake up time. Don't forget the kiddos! Get them up, too! You'll be thanking yourself later! :)

3. Start planning early! Get those pacing guides out and start planning your first month of school. I use my Year at a Glance to fast forward and look for lessons that I want to improve or change. The first few weeks of school are crazy, so have a game plan and you won't be overwhelmed.
4. Need lunch ideas? Pinterest is the place to go! I found so many awesome "healthy" lunch ideas on Pinterest over the summer. I made a shopping list of items I would need, and I keep it on my phone. When I'm doing my weekly grocery shopping it's easy to pull up my list and choose my lunches for the week. 

5. Get a planner/calendar! Do you have kids? If so, you probably know what it's like to run here and there all week long! I use Google Calendar to schedule my kids sporting events, practices, appointments, and extra curricular activities. I sync it to my phone, so that I constantly have a reminder of when and where I need to be after school hours. I also use my Google Calendar to schedule meetings after school. The reminder alarm helps me remember where I need to be and when I need to be there!

6. Get organized! Not only at school, but at home, too! It's hard to feel like you have it all together when your world is in chaos. I always feel better when I have a clean house, meals for the week are planned, the bills are paid, the laundry is done and clothes are ready for the week. Make a plan for getting these chores done during the week, or even better - on the weekend. 

7. Do you have a classroom management system that works? If not, start looking for new and innovative ways to reward students for good behavior. A postive reward system will encourage student motivation! There's tons out there. Just get on Pinterest and search - you'll find one that works for you and your students!

8. Bulletin Boards - ahhhh....the dread! I've found that year-long bulletin boards that I can easily change in and out works best for me. I love bulletin boards that allow me to easily change with the season or topic. I typically choose bulletin boards that can either stay up all year (such as my classroom chores board), or boards that will allow me to change out student work. Start search and planning your bulletin boards now, so you don't have to dread it later.

9. Let go of last year - good or bad! In my case, last year was a hard year. It's a new year, new group of students, and for me a new position. Have a positive attitude! It's going to be a great year!

10. Just breathe...the beginning of the year and the first day of school can literally cause nightmares! It's important to take care of yourself, get plenty of rest, and know that you've done all you can do to make the start of this year one to remember! 

Need a freebie to start your year? Use my All About Me Pennant Banners to decorate a bulletin board with nothing else than student work! It comes in color or black & white for students to color. Click here to download it now for FREE! 

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