As a teacher you already know that there is so much to do, all the time…even during the summer! “But you have summers off, right?” (Don't you love when people say that?) We all know that teacher summers are usually filled with preparing for the year ahead.
Summer is usually a time when I like to *slowly* check things off my never-ending to-do list. But, there's also a reason why we have summer vacation…we need (and deserve) time to unwind! So, I have a few things that will help you prepare for next year that won't even feel like you're prepping! You can do a little prep while still sitting back and relaxing this summer!
We have everything we need right at our fingertips these days with our phones carrying a wealth of knowledge at the touch of the screen! If you're like me, then I'm sure you carry your phone with you when you are off to the beach, on vacation, or just relaxing at home. There are sooooo many things that you can do right from your phone that will help you remain passively active while you soak up some much-deserved time for yourself!
An Amazon wishlist is a great way to keep track of supplies, books, and materials that you will need for your classroom next year. You can also share your wishlist with parents to let them know the things that are helpful to send in and you might have some parents donate some of those materials!
Instagram is like its own little PLC (Personal Learning Community). I LOVE looking on Instagram for inspiration. You can search hashtags for whatever you are looking for! You can easily search for hashtags like: #classroomdecor, #firstdayofschool, #firstweekofschool, #backtoschool…anything that you're looking for is sure to have a hashtag filled with pictures of great ideas for the beginning of the year! And did you know you can save pictures for later? It makes it so easy to sit by the pool, enjoy your summer, and look for ideas and save them for later. Go back when you're ready to really start your back-to-school prep.
Crate a Pinterst Board
Start a Pinterest “back to school” board for all of the ideas that you find while browsing Pinterest real quick at the end of the day…or for like an hour if you get sucked in like I do!! Saving pins for later is a great way to get some ideas! It's so easy to search for back-to-school ideas like decor, Open House ideas, first week of school ideas, and more! It can be overwhelming sometimes, so only save what you think will be feasible to prepare and execute once the summer is over! It's easy to get carried away and feel like you're in over your head sometimes, so save what you think will be best for you and your class!
Join Email Lists
There is a wealth of knowledge and content being sent right to your inbox from your favorite teachers that you might follow on social media! Check out your favorite bloggers or Instagrammers and see if they have an email list. The content that is sent right to you is invaluable and can be a great way to get new ideas while simply checking your email throughout the summer.
Create a Teacher Pay Teachers Wishlist
Just like starting an Amazon wishlist can help you keep track of the materials you'd like for back to school, adding things to your wishlist on Teachers Pay Teachers is a great way to remember the favorite resources you see as you are browsing Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest. You can easily save to your wishlist to revisit when you are in back to school mode and ready to purchase!
Attend Professional Development
Check out some of your favorite teachers that you follow and see if they have any webinars or Facebook lives scheduled for the summer. This is seriously like PD right from the comfort of your own home. You may even earn PD hours for attending!
I am an excessive note keeper on my phone…honestly, if I don't write something down, it's most likely forgotten. Keep a “back to school” note on your phone to track of all of the amazing ideas you've gathered. However, it's an easy way to look back and see all of the ideas you've been collecting and organize them. I always like to start with the first week of school….because if you can survive the first week, you're golden!
Summer is YOUR time and social media can help you get started planning! Don't feel discouraged when you see teachers on social media prepping for back to school already. Just save their idea for later while you're enjoying the sun…and maybe a cold drink too! You deserve it!