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Welcome Back! New School Year Ideas for Teachers

Throughout the summer, I was flooded with emails from teachers wondering what to do to get started for the new school year, so I decided to put together a blog post full of my favorite tips, tricks, resources, and ideas for teachers planning to go back to school! Here are my ideas for how to start an amazing new school year strong!

How to Get a New School Year Started Strong - New School Year Ideas for Teachers

New Year, New Grade

If you’re changing grades, you might feel especially overwhelmed as the new school year approaches. Heading into a new grade can be a little like visiting another planet. A grade switch of more than a year or two can make you feel like a brand-new teacher all over again!

These blog posts will help you wrap your head around this:

How to Take the Headache out of Changing Grades
What to Do on the First Day of School

Classroom Management & Character Education

If there’s one thing to get a handle on right away at the beginning of a new school year, it is behavior. Right away, I always make it a priority to:

  • establish expectations
  • determine consequences for inappropriate behavior
  • create a classroom community that is built on a foundation of respect
  • practice, practice, practice

I “grew a Heart Garden” in my primary classroom for years and absolutely LOVED what this did for my classroom community. Read all about that here:

The Heart Garden: Character Education With Heart

There are also many things you can do to encourage kindness in your classroom every day. This blog post includes a freebie that can be used at the beginning of the new school year or at any other time!

Encouraging Random Acts of Kindness in the Classroom


Your curriculum will obviously be of top importance as the new school year begins. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the expectations or standards for your grade. It is a good idea to:

  • look for the “Big Ideas”
  • compare the expectations or standards if you teach a multiple-grade class to look for commonalities
  • map out the main units or topics you will need to teach on a school year calendar
  • take a closer look at the resources you already have and gaps where you might be lacking something new to accomplish your goals

I have some great ways to simplify your planning time workload in these posts:

4 Ways You Can Simplify Planning in Your Classroom
How to Get the Most Out of Your Planning Time

Literacy Resources

I have many popular resources available for your literacy program. These are a few of my favorites. Click the images to learn more about each one and check out exactly how I use some of them in the blog posts below:

Printable Dictionary Bundle
420+ Differentiated Word Lists
Word Work Centers

And free here on my site, you’ll love these Class Journals to motivate your young writers! Click the image to grab yours!

Photo of class journals with free class journal covers.

Don’t miss these blog posts for more great tips and resources!

How to Offer Word Work Activities Students Really Love
The Best Word Walls for Every Classroom
My Favorite Features of the Epic! App
How to Have an Amazing Classroom Library Without Going Broke

Math Resources

I LOVE teaching math! I completed my 3-Part Mathematics Specialist qualifications several years ago, and math remains one of my favorite things to teach. These are some of my top go-to math resources for my classroom:

Guided Math Centers Bundle Year-Long Bundle
215+ Differentiated Math Lesson Bundle
Paperless Math Morning Work Resource

This Noggle freebie is a great way to get your students practicing with operations. They love this one!

Noggle: Number Boggle Freebie

Be sure to take a peek at these blog posts as well! This first one is part of a series of helpful Guided Math posts.

How to Get Organized for Guided Math
The Best Reasons for Using Hands-On Morning Work
My Favorite Picture Books for Teaching Math

Routines and Timetables

Next to managing behavior, setting your timetable and routines will be the best thing you can do to prepare for a successful new school year. Some of the routines you’ll want to plan for are:

  • restroom procedures
  • when and how to access a drink
  • movement around the classroom
  • how to get the teacher’s attention
  • when is it appropriate to sharpen pencils
  • how are papers and assignments stored and turned in
  • how is home-school communication managed
  • what should students do when they enter the classroom
  • what signals will you use to get their attention

Having a consistent timetable posted in your classroom takes a tremendous amount of uncertainty away from the children in your class and reduces their anxiety. Check out this post for 5 great reasons to make your schedule predictable:

5 Reasons to Make Your Classroom Schedule Predictable

These blog posts will give you some ideas for how to get started with establishing your classroom routines:

Putting an End to Pencil Problems in the Classroom
How to Encourage Indpendence in Your Classroom
8 Fun Morning Activities for Elementary Classrooms
5 Ways to Get Student Attention in the Elementary Classroom
How to Easily Manage Home-School Communication
The Great Homework Debate - Is it worth it?

Get Yourself Organized!

Occasionally, we spend so much time getting our classrooms looking “just so” that we neglect the importance of getting ourselves organized. Don’t forget to consider how you’ll keep your routines running smoothly, and make sure that you’re all set with a great teacher planner that you’ll use effectively!

The Best Ways to Get Organized in the Classroom

I personally love my Erin Condren Teacher Planner! If you’re a new customer, you can save on your new purchase by joining the free EC Insider program!

Erin Condren Teacher Planner Walk-Through 2024

If you’re more of a digital planner, new users of Planbook will receive their first 6 months free with the promo code: free6Beattie

Planbook.com sample screenshot

Technology In The Classroom

In the 21st century, technology is now a significant part of classrooms everywhere. Teachers need to put a lot more consideration into when and how it will be used during any instructional and free time. A few of my favorite posts are right here:

Keeping Kids Accountable During Center Work
How to Print in Color on a Budget
Using Trello to Easily Document Reading Conference Data
Making The Most of Your Smart Board

Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Yourself!!

This is one of the most difficult and stressful times of the new school year, so it is critical that you take care of yourself! I actually wrote the next blog post about self-care at the end of the school year, but all the content is entirely applicable to the beginning of the year as well. You’ll love these suggestions!

How to Dig Yourself Out of an End-of-the-Year Rut

And you can worry a little less about your struggling bank account with the many ideas I’ve collected in this post:

16 Simple Ways to Save When Money is Tight

I am always here for you at back-to-school time or any time during the school year! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re looking for any other resources or suggestions for your classroom. I have many other blog posts and hundreds of resources, so be sure to follow my TPT store!

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How to Get a New School Year Started Strong
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