Back To School Video Teacher Tips

How to Write A Back To School Letter For Teachers

We look at what you should include in your first letter home to students and parents. Our veteran teachers offer some great ideas for you. This a letter that is usually sent out two to three weeks prior to the start of the school year.

One of the questions, we often get, is how to address the back-to-school letter to parents and students? Teachers spend more time pondering this, than writing the letter.

We suggest you address the letter in one of two ways:

  1. Dear Families,
  2. To My Wonderful Students & Their Families,

In this video, we also suggest that you remember to add the following to your letter:

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  1. Non-personal contact information.
  2. A student supply/material list.
  3. General rules and expectations you have for students and parents.
  4. A brief student schedule, if possible.
  5. Funny facts about you.
  6. Educational resources for students to use at home.
  7. A map to your classroom. Especially for new students or young students.

What To Do On The First Day Of School

The first day of school is very stressful for everyone. We often forget to go over some important items. Here some things you want to make sure you do on that first day of school or first day with a new class in general.:

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  1. Have multiple copies of class lists. You may lose one. It always helps to have backup.
  2. Have a seating arrangement ready to go!
  3. Name tags. They can be placed at their seats at the start of the day.
  4. Getting to know you scavenger hunt. A great ice breaker. Here are more ice breakers and a printable scavenger hunt.
  5. Go over emergency drills and procedures. This is a must!
  6. Parent contact information. Also, send something home so parents get to know you.
  7. Go over your restroom policy.
  8. Go over class rules or create them with the class.
  9. Homework policy. Give specific details and outcomes.
  10. Let students take part in organizing the room. They will take some ownership from the event.

Top 10 Tips For Student Teachers

For our friends that are new to the profession, here is some help. Student teaching can be the toughest time of your life. Here are some things we wish someone would have told us prior to starting our student teaching placement. Play video

  1. Always be early!
  2. Be Professional. Both in the way you dress and act.
  3. Be very flexible. Expect the unexpected.
  4. Plan slightly ahead, so you can give your input on new lessons and units.
  5. Give it your all! This is your time to learn, make the most of it.
  6. Be friendly to everyone. They will help you forever!
  7. Observe every single teacher you can! See teachers at all levels and subject areas. You might just learn something new.
  8. Realize that you don't have to reinvent the wheel.
  9. Ask, ask, and ask again.
  10. Work on classroom management as much as possible!

How To Motivate Students

It's very difficult to keep students working at their top level. Here are some simple tips to help you keep students engaged and motivated in your class:

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  1. Create a reward system.
  2. Student of the week program.
  3. Awards ceremony to recognize students.
  4. Play review games with students.
  5. Award homework passes and assignment passes.

Top 10 Back To School Tips

Whether it is your first or thirtieth year teaching there are many things we often overlook or forget to think about that first week. Here are a handful of things we often forget and need to remind ourselves...

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  1. Find the best route to school.
  2. Have super-comfortable shoes.
  3. Stock up on favorite items. You will probably be very tired those first few days. It's nice to have things around that we enjoy.
  4. Get your supplies right away. That should be priority one.
  5. Check out your room(s). Make sure everything is set.
  6. Make sure to fit out what has been going on in the community where you teach.
  7. Remember, we have a huge impact on kids. They deserve our best each and every year.
  8. Eat regularly. We often starve that first week.
  9. Learn student names the easy way pictures and year books help.
  10. Don't lose your keys or identification badges.

Top 10 Tips For New Teachers

Starting out is extremely difficult. Remember it will take you five years to figure out your curriculum and the rest of your life to learn how to teach it well. Here are ten pieces of advice from veteran teachers for new teachers:

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  1. Be friendly to everyone in the building. They are your support team.
  2. Plan ahead. It's much easier, if you know where you are headed. Don't panic if you fall behind.
  3. Get comfortable shoes.
  4. Resist all urges to gossip! It will come back to bite you!
  5. Be humble. Everyone has good ideas to share. Grow from it.
  6. Be cooperative and share ideas with others as much as possible. It will help you a great deal.
  7. Find a mentor and praise them every day!
  8. If a teaching position doesn't work for you at a particular building or district, don't be afraid to move on.
  9. Know your limits.

Tips on The First Two Weeks of School

The first few weeks are very difficult. They are also very important to help you set the tone for the year. Some quick tips to make the first two weeks smoother for you. Play video

  1. Talk to your friends and family.
  2. Don't Panic: Plan-it
  3. Create a checklist.
  4. Find a friend (colleague) to help.
  5. Get your room ready!
  6. Ask yourself, "Are my students going to work for me?" Put yourself in their shoes with what you have prepared.

Easing Test Anxiety

Quick tips for teachers on how to help students that suffer from test taking anxiety. 4 quick methods to help students feel at ease during tests.:

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  1. Tell students to take deep breadths.
  2. Have a motto to help them remember how to put themselves at ease.
  3. Develop a tell; a way to silently communicate with students.
  4. Offer students very small chewy or crunchy snacks.

How To Start A Class

Getting the ball rolling can be the hardest task of all. Here are some things to keep in mind when you want to begin class. Play video

  1. Greet students at the door.
  2. Make a starting class routine for the kids and yourself.
  3. Use a "do now" or quick assessment.
  4. Remember to take attendance.
  5. Have a sign-in area.
  6. Hear student concerns.

How To Create A Year-Long Curriculum

One of the most difficult planning tasks is taking on a new curriculum. Where do you start? Where do end? What do you teach and when? It's mind boggling at times.

In this video, we offer a suggested path of events to follow when tackling a new curriculum to teach.

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  1. Talk to your curriculum director.
  2. Talk to current teachers of that curriculum. Talk to educators who have experience with that curriculum.
  3. Look at the standards as you guide to units and eventually lessons.
  4. Are you working with others? If so, build that into your plan.
  5. Outline your year by organizing units into yearly calendars.