Tips and Tricks: A New Year

Whether it’s your first year in the classroom or your thirtieth, a new school year brings new challenges and new rewards. Here are five tips to get your year off to a great start.

  1. Take the time to get to know your students. The better you know your students, and the better they know and respect you, the more control you’ll have over your classroom throughout the year. Plus, knowing your students well and understanding how they interact with each other will help you plan more successful group work. Scholastic has some helpful suggestions on how to get acquainted with your students.
  2. Reach out to parents within the first couple of weeks. Parents can be your strongest allies in making sure students stay on target throughout the school year. Reaching out to them early and making sure they feel valued will go a long way toward developing and maintaining a positive relationship with these vital education partners. For more tips, see ATPE’s Professional Learning Portal class, Parental Involvement and Outreach.
  3. Set a positive classroom environment. Developing a healthy classroom culture from the beginning will help students feel more comfortable expressing themselves and will help you maintain control over your classroom. Set firm but reasonable classroom guidelines and communicate these with students. Consider allowing students to give their input on the classroom rules. This will reinforce those rules and give students a greater sense of ownership over the class and their behavior.
  4. Start with a clean slate. Don’t come in with preconceived notions about your students. No matter what you’ve heard from other educators or what experiences you’ve already had with students, let this new year be a new beginning.
  5. Take care of yourself. If you are proactive about incorporating wellness activities into your routine from the beginning of the year, taking care of yourself will become a habit that will be hard to break once things get more stressful. See ATPE’s Pinterest page for some ideas on how to maintain your sanity during the school year.


What are your top tips for the school year?

Is there a topic you’d like to see covered in ATPE Tips and Tricks? Email comm@atpe.org with suggestions.

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