The end of the school year is upon us, and I know that we are all excited for summer! I also know that many of you have already started thinking about next year. I get so excited to start planning for the next school year. All the changes that need to be made are fresh in my mind. I get excited to try new schedules, new activities and routines and work with new students. But I don’t like to spend a big chunk of my summer planning for the school year, so I try to get as much ready now as possible. Here are a few things teachers can do now to prepare for the next school year!
Prep any whole-class programs or systems.
I get all of my Sign of the Week workbooks put together, any calendar materials, and our science materials. My paras are amazing at helping with this.
Start working on data sheets for incoming students.
I get started with data sheets as soon as I can access their IEP goals. I like to have all of my data sheets for students ready to go as soon as possible so I can train everyone and get IEP goals up and running as soon as possible. I like to put together my data sheet master binder so that when I'm ready to organize data binders, all I have to do is make copies.
Draft out your schedule.
It may will change, but block out certain times for your prep, whole class/ group instruction, and IEP instruction. Think about any schedule things that you didn't love this year and how you might change them for next year. If you can get a copy of your school's master schedule now, you can even plan your prep time, lunch, and para lunches/breaks. Just know that, of course, things will change, and you will have to make adjustments, but it's nice to have that first draft out of the way.
Clean out your classroom.
Get rid of materials you don’t need to use next year. I will admit this isn't something that I have always done, but I wish it were something I started earlier in my teaching career. Because my students' levels vary so much, I have a lot of stuff that takes up a lot of space.
Some years, there are certain things/materials/curricula that I never touch. I like to box it up and throw it on top of a cupboard so that the stuff I need is more easily accessible. If you can organize a little bit now to prepare for next year, it will help you set up your space better when you’re ready.
Plan out your paraprofessional and peer tutor training and materials.
I have peer tutors that enroll in the peer tutor course as an elective, so I give them weekly assignments. I like to have my canvas course and all assignments ready to go for the trimester, so all I have to do is change a few dates and click publish. I also like to do a weekly staff focus, and while I do leave some weeks unplanned to fill in as needed, there are certain skills I like to plan.
For example, we always start with pairing and building relationships. I plan out as much as I can now, so it’s easier to print and get them ready each week. If you do regular staff meetings, you could plan out your training topics for the year and prep any necessary materials.
So what will you get started with? Pick a few things you have time for now and get them done, and then enjoy every minute of your summer! You deserve it!