The funny thing about being a teacher is that every year you hit the reset button and start your job fresh again. It’s a great thing, but it’s also a bit nerve-wracking. While the teacher in me is excited to get back to school again, the worrier in me can’t stop stressing about the year ahead. So, to satisfy my Type-A personality, I have begun planning here and there. Here’s how I’m doing it.
1. Review and Reflect: The first year of teaching is a roller coaster. Some weekends you feel ready and knowledgable to take on the week, while others you sit with a bowl of ice cream thinking “What am I going to do this week and how am I going to do it?” To prevent this from happening in Year Two, I have been taking the time to review my old plans and put them into a unit plan format. I made a chart with the approximate time the unit takes, key
points of the subject, and some of the specific resources I used. This year, I’ll be able to know right away what I should be teaching (and how to teach it) month by month.
2. Refresh: One of the biggest things in middle school is classroom management. While I think I did a pretty good job managing my classroom as a first year teacher, there is definitely room for improvement. I really like the small tips from Smart Classroom Management’s website (a lot of “Aha!” moments), so I purchased the book. Much like the website, the book is easy to skim and it gives clear directions on how to go about each procedure. I also purchased See Me After Class: Advice for Teachers by Teachers, but I haven’t had the chance to start reading it yet.
3. Shopping! I probably spend way too much money on Teacher’s Pay Teachers, but I never feel guilty about it because 1) It’s beneficial to my classroom instruction and 2) I love that the money goes to real teachers, rather than large textbook companies. My most recent purchase has me really excited for the first days of school; it’s filled with first week activities that will encourage a positive classroom community as well as enforce classroom procedures and rules. Click the picture to buy your own pack and to see more from Literary-Sherri (she has a ton of great products!).