8 Tips To Prepare For Back-To-School For New or Returning Teachers

Back-to-school season is in full swing and educators across the country are preparing their classrooms for the year ahead. At KIPP Public Schools, we believe in the spirit of sharing best practices, so we asked educators across our network to share a tip for new or returning teachers to help them prepare for creating a joyful learning experience for students. Explore this list of tips from educators across the KIPP network that help them stay energized, focused, and prepared for the new school year ahead.

  1. Organizing is my HAPPY PLACE y’all! I live by my magazine holders. I use these to keep my materials for the week organized and easily accessible. You can’t go wrong with these. You can find these at Walmart or on Amazon. Just search: “mesh magazine holder.” Andrea Jemmott, Lead Kindergarten Teacher and Grade Level Chair – KIPP Jacksonville white storage bins
  2.  Have a place to store your supplies and use labels to identify things. Chatara Benson, Managing Director of Development and Engagement – KIPP Philadelphiaweekly planner
  3. Plan weeks in advance, don’t wait until the last minute, and try to build consistency in your routine. Tracy Cooke, 6th Grade Level Lead and ELA Content Lead – KIPP Philadelphia
  4. Give yourself the same grace you give your parents, staff, and stakeholders. Always remember it is a fresh start every day and to leave what happened yesterday in the past. Kamili Miller, 4th Grade Teacher and Grade Level Chair – KIPP DC Alexis Clark
  5. Relationships matter! Learn your kids and let them learn you. Kids love when their teacher loves and cares for them. Alexis Clark, 2nd Grade Teacher – KIPP NYC
  6. Remember that nothing beats the feeling of succeeding at something challenging. As we start the school year, there is a temptation to start easy and to think that it will allow you to work up to something hard. Instead, build a culture in your classroom where every day, even on day 1, kids can say that they learned something relevant and did something challenging. Sam Routhier, AP World History Teacher – KIPP NYC
  7.  Focus on your classroom environment and think intentionally about how you want students to feel each day they enter and exit your class. Damon Williams, Lead 7th Grade Social Justice Teacher – KIPP Philadelphia
  8. Don’t be afraid to lean in on your colleagues to collaborate with. You are not in this alone. Daniel Harris, Lead 4th Grade English Teacher – KIPP Philadelphia