Another Year Begins…


With a new school year quickly approaching, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to believe that I will begin year 27 in a few short weeks. Fortunately, I’ve found my  passion and a purpose in my classroom, and as a result, the previous 26 have simply flown by. Regardless, I start each year with almost the same enthusiasm and vitality, ready to challenge and inspire a new set of students.

As July rolls to a close, fresh new faces will soon join faculties everywhere as they embark on their educational careers, so I’ve decided to share my new year preparation process.  For this, you will need two items, an empty box and a notepad, or for the high tech types, your phone .

First, how to use the box. As the summer progresses, add items that you need or should replace/replenish for the upcoming year.

  • Always BOLO the BOGOS and sales.
  • Don’t pass up free ink pens, pencils or note pads.
  • Stop by your local dollar store or, my favorite, the Dollar Spot at Target every once in a while.
  • Check out surplus sales for office items and supplies.

I actually start my summer with an empty box and as I catch items on sale, I buy and stash it for August, which helps spread out the cost rather than have one enormous shopping spree that leaves you gasping for breath at the final total. Also, procrastination can put you out in the middle of the Back to School shopping and sales. Even though the savings can be enticing, you should consider how stressed you will be during your pre-planning and if it is worth your sanity to brave the ensuing shopping craziness, which is as intense as holiday shopping at times.

For a new teacher, consider including the following:

  • Basic office supplies: paper, pens/pencils, scissors, stapler w/ staples, staple remover, glue, paper clips/binders, ruler and/or yard stick, file folders
  • Cleaning supplies: disinfectant wipes, sponges, paper towels, Magic Erasers (or a generic brand),  glass cleaner (These items can return home after use, but I prefer to keep most of these stored in my closet for quick clean ups.)
  • Air Freshener! If your room did not have adequate air circulation through the summer, it might possibly have a funk, especially for the first week. Therefore, if you decide to combat the stink, it’s best to choose a scent that is not over powering and avoid the plug-in varieties so the school remains within fire codes.
  • Personal items: hair bands/clips, candy or gum (for a quick Pick Me Up moment), Band Aids (speaking from experience!)

Of course, you could have more in your box, but this is what I consider the minimum. As each year passes, you won’t need as much and this process becomes much less onerous.

About the notepad… Keep a running list of ideas on how to decorate or organize your class. If you find adorable room decor on Pinterest or spy  something inspiring while out gallivanting during your “three month” vacation, jot it down! Why keep this list you may ask? Because once the year begins and your To Do list grows exponentially, you might forget to use that decorating idea or set up your desk in that certain way. If you keep this notepad in a highly visible place through the summer and during the week of pre-planning, the ideas will be at your fingertips when you have a free moment to give them some consideration.

Did I leave anything out of the box that you consider essential? Do you have a back to school preparation plan?

Please read and comment! I’d love to hear from you!

One thought on “Another Year Begins…

  1. Great advice! It’s amazing how much I’ve changed as a teacher from those first couple of years 25 years ago. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, steal ideas, and morph all of those suggestions into something that works for YOU!


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